Knowing the rudimentary basics of auto care will help greatly in assuring that you and your family arrive safely at your holiday destinations and back again.
Tune Up: Consult the maintenance schedule that’s in your glove compartment and make certain that there is no vital maintenance that you’re behind on with a particular eye to the spark plugs and ignition system.
The battery: A battery that is past its prime is likely to fail under the stresses of winter. Determine whether it is beyond the number of months it was designed to perform and simply replace it this is the case. Also check the terminals and make certain they aren’t loose or embedded with corrosion. If they don’t look clean and tight, remove them (remove the negative battery cable first and replace it last) and clean them with either a store bought cleaner or simply household baking soda before coating them with dialectric grease and retightening them.
Fluids: Change the oil and other fluids so that your car will toil less under winter’s strain. Reasonably fresh radiator fluid at appropriate levels is integral during temperature and don’t neglect your transmission as its failure will stop you as easily as the engine’s.
Windshield Wipers: Don’t wait for the rubber to tear from the wiper arms. Get a fresh pair every fall, keep your fluid reservoir full to aid their effectiveness and store a squeegee in your trunk or back seat for tasks that are clearly beyond their ability to handle.
Tires: The old penny test states that you hold a penny between the treads and, if they aren’t high enough to meet Abe’s noggin, you need new tires, however, if you live in an area that is particularly treacherous, this might not prove adequate. Also, make certain that the tire pressure matches the specifications printed in raised letters on the side of the tire so that you have optimum traction when you need it.
Belts: There are fewer belts on the front of motors than in the past, but the ones that remain are as important as ever, often driving several mechanisms at once. Do a visual check for obvious signs of wear, such as cracks or fraying. If you’re not certain, have a mechanic check them out and adjust their tension.
With all of this said (and buckle up!) I bid you happy motoring and a safe, most blessed, holidays.