You know it’s coming: That first frigid morning when you discover your car is covered in ice. Old Man Winter has reared his ugly head once again to wreak havoc on your car and your ride to work.
Well, I’ve got one thing to say about that: Let’s be ready for him this year!
Owning a repair shop for over 30 years, I have spent many harsh winters coaxing a dead battery back to life or replacing worn out wipers after a snowstorm. This time of year, I often suggest that busy drivers schedule some preventative maintenance for their vehicles – before winter weather hits:
Get That Battery Tested
Batteries have a way of conking out just when the sleet begins to fall. Colder temperatures strain your battery, and if it has a low charge this can only spell trouble when you try to start your engine when temperatures dip. Have your battery tested before the cold weather shows up just to be sure you don’t need a charge or a new battery to get you safely through the winter.
How Are Those Wipers Doing?
I have a customer who goes through wiper blades like crazy but only in the winter. Turns out she has a habit of warming up her car while pressing the washer fluid button as she uses the wipers to clean her iced-over windshield. This may sound efficient but it’s brutal on your wipers. I can’t say it enough – wipers are not ice scrapers – they are designed to wipe the windshield clean of water and very loose ice or snow. Have your wipers checked to see if you may need to replace them before winter hits.
Fill Up On Cold Weather Wiper Fluid and Anti-freeze
Since we live in the Northeast and it can easily dip below freezing in the winter, it’s a must to fill your washer fluid reservoir with a winter blend. The addition of alcohol in winter wiper fluid will prevent the liquid from freezing on your windshield. Anti-freeze may also need adjusting when temperatures get colder. Anti-freeze has additives that prevent your engine from freezing up. Our ASE mechanics at Knights Automotive Repair will test your anti-freeze to see if it needs replacing before the cold gets here.
Are Your Tires...Tired?
How long have you had those tires? Time and miles are taking their toll and that means your tread can be wearing out. Low tread means low traction. When it snows, your car loses its grip on the road and can easily slip right into an accident. Just like winter boots, it’s not a bad idea to get some snow tires for added safety and control. If tires are wearing unevenly you may just need an alignment or a wheel balance. At Knight’s, we will check the tires for wear, balance, tire rot, proper air pressure and tread depth – to be sure you can travel safely through the snow.
So next time you pass those inexpensive ice scrapers at the store - pick one up – then schedule an appointment at Knight’s Automotive Repair to get your vehicle ready for anything Old Man Winter throws at it.
Peyton Knight is co-owner of Knight's Automotive Repair in the Ledgewood section of Roxbury.
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