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It's Time to Get Your Car Ready for the Winter

Maintaining your car in a good condition is important all year round, but winter weather calls for extra inspection and preparation for those living in cold or snowy climates.

1. Tires 

The most important component of your car that require special attention is the tires on your car.  If you are planning to drive frequently in the snow covered or icy roads, dedicated winter tires are highly recommended.

Winter tires are designed and made with different rubber compound and tread pattern to give you the maximum level of traction for winter conditions.  The difference in performance are usually night and day when compared to summer tires or even most all-season tires.

Often, drivers aren’t aware that commonly used all-season tires have a rubber compound that gradually hardens when temperatures dip below 45 degrees. When this happens, braking and turning are compromised as there is decreased road traction and less grip. It’s also important to note that snow and ice often pile up in the tire grooves and tread blocks on all-season tires, which can impact your vehicle’s performance.

Winter tires are made with higher-silica compounds. This allows the tire to deliver much better traction, which reduces skidding and improves braking. In fact, in temperatures below 45 degrees, winter tires can provide 25 to 50 percent more traction than all-season tires. In addition, the tread block design includes thousands of very small interlocking slits—known as sipes—to provide extra road-biting edges for improved winter traction.

“Every aspect of a winter tire has been engineered to provide the best performance in winter conditions and temperature fluctuations while maintaining traction on any surface,” said Mark Marrufo of Discount Tire. “The winter tire advantage will maximize your safety and provide peace of mind during the winter months.”

2. Battery

Extreme temperatures break down car batteries internally and can accelerate the rate of corrosion on battery terminals. This causes insufficient electrical power and the risk of being stranded without warning. At every oil change, check the battery cables; ensure they’re securely attached to the terminals. If there are signs of corrosion, clean them with a baking soda paste.

The best way to remove external corrosion is to disconnect the cables to clean the hidden areas where they contact the battery terminals. Most car batteries have a three-to-five-year service life, depending on local climate and vehicle use.

Batteries near end of its service life can quit without any warning, especially in cold temperatures.

3. Windshield Wipers

If you are a seasoned driver, you already know that having plenty of washer fluid and a good set of windshield wipers are critical during winter months.  The salt and sand treated road does wonders to your car's windshield, making it impossible to wipe it clean unless you spray a good amount of fluid before wiping with fairly new wipers.

Inspect wiper blades to see if they are worn, cracked or rigid. The life of a rubber insert is typically six to 12 months, depending on exposure to heat, dirt, sunlight, acid rain, and ozone. Streaking and chattering are common clue the rubber needs to be replaced.

Check your windshield washer fluid reservoir monthly. Top it off with a solution formulated to remove insects or other debris. In winter, use a solution that won’t freeze at low temperatures. Also, test the washer spray nozzles for proper operation and aim before leaving on a trip.

It's Time to Get Your Car Ready for the Winter Reviewed by Blogs on 3:25 PM Rating: 5

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