By Lauren Fix
It’s the perfect time to get under the hood before winter takes effect. Here are four Cs to get your vehicle ready for the colder weather: check, change, carry, and clean. Follow these tips, and you’ll stay on the road and off the side of it.
The Four C’s
- Lights – Headlights, taillights, turn signals, reverse lights and horn.
- Tire Wear – Not just the tread but also any sign of uneven wear. That may mean you have a suspension or alignment problem.
- Leaks – Check under the hood and where you park your car for any signs of leaks. These should be repaired as soon as you notice them.
- Fluids – Check the 9 vehicle fluids, including power steering, brake, transmission fluid, engine oil, antifreeze and filters.
- Air Filter – Change air filters every 12,000 miles or every 6 months. It’s easy to do it yourself! This will give you better fuel economy and performance.
- Battery – If you are having trouble starting your car, it may be the battery. Have it checked. Cold temps are hard on a fully charged battery, but they can prevent a weak one from even starting. If your battery is four years or older, have it tested.
- Tire Pressure – check for the proper pressures against the door placard.
- Brakes – do you hear a squeal when you stop or a brake light is on your dash? Have your brakes checked, you need new brake pads Now is the time – not when it is too late!
- Winter Wiper Blades – the protective sleeve will help keep the blade on your windshield. Replace blades every 6 months.
- Winter Washer Fluid – de-icer washer fluid will make your life easier on those real bad days. It has a yellowish color instead of the blue stuff.
- Snow tires – even if you have a four-wheel-drive vehicle, winter tires are your safest way to travel in bad weather. They are designed for cold weather driving. All season tires don’t offer the best traction in the snow. Worn tires can be even more dangerous with winter weather. Switching to an all season tire will ensure the safety of you and your family.
Carry these items in your trunk in a box or duffel bag.
- Jumper cables – or jump box
- Tire chains – required in mountainous areas
- Tire inflation product
- First aid kit
- LED Light Source and safety triangle
- Protein bars or food
- Bottled water
- Snow brush with ice scraper
- Blanket for every passenger
- Hand and feet warmers
- Cell phone charging cable
- Paper towels and glass cleaner
- Extra washer fluid
- Work Gloves, duct tape, zip ties and basic tools
- Clean and wax your vehicle at least once a week.
- Windshields, back window and side windows, headlights and taillights.
- Remove snow from the top and hood of your car.
And remember the secret to a safe fall and winter: See and be seen!
Watch the video review. We show you everything you need to know. If you have additional questions, put them in the comments below and I’ll be happy to answer.
Lauren Fix, The Car Coach®, is a nationally recognized automotive expert, analyst, author, and television host. A trusted car expert, Lauren provides an insider’s perspective on a wide range of automotive topics and aspects, energy, industry, consumer news, and safety issues.
Lauren is the CEO of Automotive Aspects and the Editor-in-Chief of Car Coach Reports, a global automotive news outlet. She is an automotive contributor to national and local television news shows, including Fox News, Fox Business, CNN International, The Weather Channel, Inside Edition, Local Now News, Community Digital News, and more. Lauren also co-hosts a regular show on ABC.com with Paul Brian called “His Turn – Her Turn” and hosts regular radio segments on USA Radio – DayBreak.
Lauren is honored to be inducted into the Women’s Transportation Hall of Fame and a Board Member of the Buffalo Motorcar Museum, and Juror / President for the North American Car, Utility & Truck of the Year Awards.
Check her out on Twitter and Instagram @LaurenFix.