It might only be September, but it’s definitely time to start thinking about getting your vehicle ready for winter. While Lexington doesn’t usually see too much snow, the road conditions are definitely different in our winter months than they are in spring and summer. You probably don’t need to invest in snow tires for everyday use, but making sure your tires are road worthy for the changing conditions is just one thing you’ll want to check out before we are in the thick of our colder months. You’ll want to check for balding, uneven wear, and tread depth among other things. Simply keeping the proper air pressure can help your tires to properly grip the road, but remember that air pressure drops with cooler temperatures, so it’s really important to keep checking those tires.
There’s a lot to consider in preparing your vehicle for winter months, but we’ve narrowed it down to the top most important items on the list. After tire conditions, the next thing is putting the right kind of oil in your auto. Cooler months contribute to the thickening of oil, so it’s a good idea to check your car’s manual to see what they suggest. If the oil is too thick, it won’t do its job and could lead to damaged engine parts. It would be a bummer to receive a huge auto repair bill for something that could have been prevented with an inexpensive oil change!
Having your vehicle go through a general, overall inspection is a great idea because you don’t want to find out you have some major auto problem as you’re sitting on the side of the road with dropping temperatures. Some of the basic things to have check include belts and hoses; battery health, all fluids, windshield wiper functionality, and the proper antifreeze mixture for your car and winter conditions. If you do end up stranded on a cold night and have gas in the tank, run your car for 10 minutes for every hour stranded just to keep yourself from freezing.
It’s also a great idea to have a winter car-care kit beefed up and ready to keep you safe and warm. Things to go into that kit:
- Snacks that won’t easily spoil, water, hard candy
- At least one warm blanket
- Extra gloves and a good pair of boots (because you probably don’t wear winter boots every day)
- Warm clothes in case you need to layer or change from wet ones
- Ice scraper
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- A cell-phone charger that doesn’t have to be plugged in
- Extra windshield wipers and fluid
- Always carry a small shovel regardless the time of year
- Jumper cables
- An emergency kit with the basics and any meds you’re taking on a daily basis
- A spare tire with air in it, a tire gauge, and whatever tools you need to actually change a tire
- Sand or non-clumping kitty litter that can help with traction if your tires get stuck in the snow
The list might be kind of long, but you’ll be so happy you’re prepared if you do end up stranded on a cold night. It’s also a good idea to keep your gas tank as close to full as you can to help to keep the lines from freezing or simply to keep you from running out of gas! When you’re ready to have your vehicle inspected to prepare for the cooling weather ahead, Auto Excel in Lexington would love to be your go-to auto repair shop that will help keep you and your vehicle safely on the road this winter.