As the brisk autumn weather makes it’s way through the Ozarks, it’s important to keep your vehicle’s health in check! Proper vehicle maintenance helps keep cars running though every seasonal transition, but it’s especially important when winter arrives. Whether you’re a Do-It-Yourself type of person or rely on a trusty mechanic, most of the time you can avoid being stranded in the cold by following a few simple maintenance tips. Springfield Traffic Tickets has compiled a short list of things you can proactively do to ensure you get from point A to point B safely this fall and winter.
Always check your antifreeze – you can use an antifreeze tester or refractory to extract a few drops of antifreeze from the radiator or overflow. This is helpful for understanding the current freezing point of your vehicles antifreeze. Add antifreeze as needed to make sure your engine block does not freeze.
Before the winter road conditions hit, you’ll want to make sure you have sufficient tread available for any circumstance. If there’s wet road conditions, you’ll need at least 4/32 of an inch of tread to safely travel and avoid hydroplaning. However, if there’s snow, you’ll want to be sure you have at least 6/32 of an inch of tread. Make sure to check all 4 tires when doing this, as they do not always wear evenly. Of course, you’ll also want to be sure you have sufficient air in your tires, based off the manufacturer’s recommendation for your vehicle’s tires.
Be sure to maintain visibility – check your wiper blades for signs of cracking or damaged wear. You can easily replace your own wiper blades. Another important aspect of visibility in your vehicle is the windshield wiper fluid reservoir
Always check for particles in your oil when checking the dip-stick. If your oil looks unusually thick or dark it’s a good idea to get a fresh oil change. The viscosity of your oil can really preserve your vehicles engine through colder weather.
Be sure to check the date stamp on your vehicles battery and consider changing it every three years or so. While examining the battery, make sure the metal connectors are clear and making good contact with the cables and battery terminals. If the battery needs any maintenance, refer to a reputable mechanic to keep your car moving all winter long.