With the Holidays fast approaching us, now is the time to make sure your car is ready for the colder months ahead. Preparing for winter in Georgia is different from preparing for winter in let's say Maine, however it is still important. Below is a list of things to check so as to avoid no-starts, frozen doors and windows, engine freezeup, and accidents.
- Check tire tread depth. It is always a good idea to carry a tire tread depth gauge in your glove compartment or center console. Ideally, your tire tread depth should be above 4/32 in. for the winter months. Most states have a minimum tire tread depth standard of 2/32, however tire performance diminishes greatly below 4/32.
- Have your car battery tested and cleaned / protect battery terminals. A bad battery can leave you stranded. Be sure to check around your battery terminals for corrosion build up.
- Lubricate window tracks and weather stripping, door locks, latches, and hinges. Use a spray silicone for windows and weather stripping, Use lithium grease for latches and hinges. Use dry teflon spray lube for your door locks.
- Have your coolant tested. You want to be sure your engine and cooling system is protected against the elements. This will keep your engine from freezing and cracking, as well as help you to avoid corrosion. When adding coolant, always be sure to begin with a cold engine to avoid burning yourself.
- Check wipers. It is a good idea to replace worn or streaky wipers before winter.
- Check hood struts / lifts. You can avoid a potentially dangerous situation by making sure your hood supports are in good working order. No one wants to be the victim of a hood falling on their head. Ouch!
- Replace cabin and engine air filters. If it has been a while since you replaced your air filters, you should be sure to replace them before the winter months. A clogged cabin air filter can reduce the effectiveness of your blower motor and potentially damage the blower motor resistor. Leaf debris from the Fall can clog your engine air filter and reduce air flow to the engine.
Last, but certainly not least, we recommend assembling a Winter Survival Kit. If for some reason you get stuck in winter weather for an extended period of time, you will want to be prepared. Below is a list of suggested items for your Emergency Winter Kit.
- Candle powered heater and lighter
- Small LED flashlight and extra batteries
- Cell phone charger and portable battery
- Notepad and pen / pencil
- Portable air compressor
- Simple tool kit. A few screwdrivers (flat head and philips), pliers, adjustable wrench, and duct tape
- Safety absorbent or cat litter
- Jumper cables
- Foldable shovel
- First aid kit
- Warm hat, gloves, extra socks, and a warm blanket
- Ice scraper
Now that we have covered the things you should check for safe winter travels, we are always happy to check these things for you. We offer a complimentary courtesy inspection with every service here at Alex Automotive. Call and reserve a spot today before they are all gone. As a reference, we typically run about a week to a week and a half out on our appointments. We look forward to seeing you soon!