Take care of your car’s seasonal services immediately and make plans to get ahead of the game before cold weather arrives. An early visit to your repair facility provides the opportunity to budget for unanticipated repairs. We recommend the following checklist:
A poorly maintained engine is hard to start in cold weather, if it starts at all. It may run rough and lose power. Have fuel, ignition and emission control systems checked, necessary components replaced and adjustments made.
Battery and Electrical System
How old is your battery? If it’s three or more years old, it should be tested and replaced if necessary. Even a strong battery that can deliver full power at 80 degrees F. will have dropped to a 65 percent of its output at freezing temperature and only 40 percent at zero degrees.
A vehicle’s antifreeze should be changed annually, or as recommended in the owner’s manual. Flush the cooling system every 24 months. Have the system pressure tested for leaks and check hoses and drive belt(s) for tension and corrosion.
Inspect, balance, check inflation and rotate tires. Check inflation on the spare and make sure the jack is in place.
Have the vehicle put on a lift for an inspection of the exhaust system. Leaking exhaust fumes can be deadly.
Most important: Ask questions. After an inspection ask questions and request your service advisor to show you worn parts, fluids and more when recomendations are made.