Getting Your Car Winter Ready
Middle Georgia may not be known for its snowy winter season or freezing temperatures, but we should still take the necessary steps to get our vehicles ready for cold weather. With preparation, you can ensure that you are protecting your investment and avoiding costly repairs down the road. Whether our winter is surprisingly frosty or unseasonably warm, the following tips will help make sure that you are prepared to hit the roads safely for your holiday traveling.
Protect your car and embrace winter armed with these tips to keep your car in top shape:
Battery and Battery Cables
Cold weather is hard on batteries, so it is wise to check the battery charging system. Check that the cables are firmly attached, and use a stiff wire brush to clean away corrosion on the posts or connections. Because batteries do not always give warning signs before they fail, it is advisable to replace batteries that are more than three years old. If you’ve had your battery for a couple of years, have your mechanic test its ability to hold a charge.
Belts and Hoses
our belts and hoses run the risk of breaking or tearing more easily in cold weather. Have them checked for wear and tear before the temperatures drop too low.
Slippery winter conditions demand precise braking. Have the brake system checked, including brake linings, rotors and drums. Brakes are critical to vehicle safety and particularly important when driving on icy or snow-covered roads.
Heater, Defroster and Wiper Blades
Check that the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are working properly, as heating and cooling performance is critical for interior comfort and for safety reasons, such as defrosting. Fall is also a great time to check your air filters.
Oil gets thicker in cold temperatures. If your oil becomes too thick and goopy, it won’t do a good job of lubricating your car’s engine. Check your owner’s manual for specific oil recommendations.
You should also refer to your owner’s manual for the recommended pressures for your car. Uneven wear indicates the need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots. If snow and ice are a problem in your area, consider special tires designed to grip slick roads.
You have to replace wiper blades more often than you might think. Streaks or missed spots on your windshield are sure signs that the blades are ready for retirement. While it's possible to stretch their life by cleaning the rubber edge of the blade periodically with a paper towel and glass cleaner, it isn't safe to do that all winter long.
If you feel your car may not make it through the winter months, then it might be time for a new car. Apply for a loan online today, or stop by any of our branch locations to discuss your financing options. Check out our auto loan calculators for a quick and easy way to help you plan your next vehicle purchase.
If you think your car is well-prepared for the cold, but you could use a lower car payment, refinancing your current auto loan could be the right solution for you. Refinance and save with Robins Financial to drive home your savings. Give us a call or stop by a branch to see how much you could save. If you’re ready to refinance, you can apply online today.