As we dig deeper into fall, it means one thing: Winter is just around the corner. Take time now to get your car ready for the bad weather to come. Otherwise, you could be stuck at home or, worse yet, along the roadside with a flat tire, a blown engine, a windshield you can’t see out of, or some other problem.
So before all the leaves are brown and the sky is gray, make sure you won’t have a problem with the following:
Tired of trouble
First, give your tires the eye test – or better yet, the coin test. Put a quarter into the grooves on several parts of your tires. If at least part of George Washington’s head is always obscured, you have more than an eighth of an inch of tread depth. Tires are considered legally worn out in most states when they’re down to one-sixteenth of an inch.
Now it’s time to check the air pressure of your tires. Here, there’s no eye test; the pressure will be really low if you can see it. Why does it matter? Heat can build up in underinflated tires and cause a blowout. An underinflated tire also will wear faster, and your gas mileage will suffer greatly. Tires tend to lose pressure when the weather cools.
You can find the car manufacturer’s suggested pressure on a sticker in your car door or in your owner’s manual. It’s possible the requirements will be different for front and back tires. You’ll need a tire gauge to measure it, and you should do it when the tires are cold. If the pressure is low, go to a gas station and add air. One thing to note – driving with overinflated tires also is dangerous.
Remember, when you’re checking tires, to include your spare. It won’t do you any good to put the spare on if it’s in bad shape.
Finally, rotate your tires if it’s time to do so – it will extend the life of the tires.
Oil things considered
Making sure you change your oil at regular intervals should always be top of mind. But there’s more to an oil change than changing oil. You’ll also want to check the levels of your brake fluid and, of course, your antifreeze.
Get all wiper about it
You’re heading into the season when you’ll need your windshield wipers. So change them to make sure your windshield stays clear of grime, snow and ice. While you’re at it, make sure you’ve got plenty of wiper fluid, too, and that it has a low freezing point.
Blinded by the lack of light
This is a good time to check to make sure your headlights, taillights, brake lights, signal lights, and flashers work property. As Yogi Berra said, “It gets late early out there.” In other words, you’ll likely be driving in the dusk and darkness more.
Check your horn as well, and make sure the heater/defroster is working properly heading into the season.
Check the battery terminals for problems, and check the battery itself to make sure it’s still good and strong. Chemical reactions that generate electricity are slower when the temperature falls, so it’s important that your battery is strong heading into winter.
Even if you take all these precautions, you could get caught in a jam as the weather gets colder. Review your emergency kit to make sure it has the proper supplies, or put one together if you don’t have one.
Here are some things it should include.
There are other items you can include as they apply to your location or situation, such as medicines. But the important thing is to be prepared for the worst that can happen. That way, you can handle any smaller problems that occur along the way.
- Bottled water and high-energy snacks
- Jumper cables
- A jack and spare tire
- An ice scraper
- A shovel
- A first aid kit
- Duct tape
For more information about Dallas Texas auto insurance, give Americo Direct Insurance a call at 214-374-9997.