Check List for Winter Car Tune Up

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

It is important to keep your vehicle in proper working order throughout the year, but winter poses some special challenges for which you have to be prepared. If you have a yearly tune-up, a handy tip is to schedule it before winter if you can. The vast majority of people are not sufficiently qualified or knowledgeable to do this themselves, so a visit to a good mechanic is in order.

This is a check list for what needs to be done:

  • Starting your car in cold weather requires a fully charged battery, so have this tested before winter. Also have it replaced every few years when it starts to run out. You do not want it to lose its final charge one cold winter’s morning when walking to work might not be fun.

  • Everything else that is involved in starting your vehicle is under more pressure during the winter too, so check the engine for worn spark plugs, faulty wiring and so forth.

  • Install snow tires if you live in a snowy city. They increase traction on the roads and your insurance company may even reward you with lower premiums.

  • If you do not live in a snowy city, remember that tire pressure decreases in colder weather, so they have to be inflated to the level recommended by the manufacturer.

  • Since it is often more difficult to see the road during winter, you do not want your visibility reduced even further by wipers, heaters and de-frosters that do not work. Wipers work best with winter blades and cold weather washer fluid.

  • Carbon monoxide leaks due to a faulty muffler and tail pipe system are especially lethal in the winter, because people drive with closed windows and with warm air being circulated through the vehicle.

  • If the brakes on a car pull to one side, the car is more likely to skid on slippery roads. So make sure that they are equalized.