Even though today is Halloween and you might be bracing yourself for some “frightening” events, a car maintenance schedule doesn’t have to be one of them! Preparing our car for winter driving shouldn’t be a scary endeavor. Take a look at this recommended car maintenance schedule and don’t be afraid!
Check the Hoses– Do a visual inspection of the hoses for cracks, leaks, or loose clamps. Also feel them to check for spots that might be brittle or spongy, which means they need to be replaced. Anti-freeze won’t be able to do it’s job if the hoses that carry it through your car’s system are damaged.
- Flush the Cooling System– The additives contained in the engine coolant (anti-freeze) that lubricate and protect the engine parts from rust and corrosion are depleted over time. It’s recommended to have the cooling system flushed (old coolant removed) and new coolant added every two to five years depending on your car manufacturer.
- Test the Electrical System– Have your car’s battery tested and make sure that there isn’t any corrosion on the terminals or clamps. Check all the cable connections to make sure they are tight.
- Adjust the Alternator Belt– The alternator is the source of electrical power when your car is running, it also charges the battery. The alternator belt needs to be adjusted properly. For older model cars, this needs to be done manually. Newer cars usually have an automatic tensioner. Have the belt checked for wear and cracks that signal it’s time to have it replaced. It’s a good idea to have a trained auto technician do these services.
- Windshield Cleaning Tools– Make sure the windshield fluid reservoir is filled with a non-freezing solution. Check the pump and sprayers to see if they are working properly. If your wiper blades leave spots or streaks, they should be replaced. You might want to get winter wiper blades that have a rubber boot to prevent ice and snow from building up.
- Check the Tires– Make sure your tires have an adequate tread depth. Worn tires should be replaced right away. Putting snow tires on for the winter is a great idea. Check the tire pressure. When the temperature drops, the pressure in your tires will too, so check the tire pressure more often in the winter months than you do in the summer.
- Brake Inspection and Flush– If you have any existing brake problems, they will get worse in the winter when your traction is reduced. Have the brakes inspected to make sure they are working properly. Brake fluid absorbs water and then collects in the system, it can cause rust, fluid leaks or damage to parts. To prevent this from happening, most manufacturers recommend that the brake system be flushed every two to three years. Check your owner’s manual for your car’s recommendations.
Don’t let taking care of your car spook you! Use this car maintenance schedule and keep your car running smoothly all winter long.