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8 Affordable Winter Car Care Tips to Keep Your Car Going

Winter Car Care Tips to Drive Safely in Winter Weather

winter car care tipsWith the excitement of the New Year upon us, winterizing your vehicle may not be at the top of your priority list - but it probably should be. Protecting your vehicle against the harsh winter elements is essential for the safe and reliable operation of your car, truck, or SUV. Unpredictable winter weather in the Kansas City area can blow in quickly and unexpectedly, so being prepared ahead of time is a smart idea.

While any reputable maintenance shop can perform winter car care for your vehicle, our auto experts at Auto Bank KC have a few affordable car maintenance tips. We want you to enjoy your vehicle for a long time after you buy it from us. With that goal in mind, here are basic vehicle winterizing tips from yours truly:

Proper Tire Maintenance

One of the most important factors to be considered in your winter car care efforts is your tires. Purchasing winter tires can be the single most important decision drivers can make when getting their vehicle ready for winter. When braking and steering your vehicle on slick roads, winter tires can be the difference between stopping safely or getting into a costly accident.

Whether or not you purchase winter tires, checking your tire pressure regularly is a good habit to follow. With temperature fluctuations come ups and downs in tire pressure, which can lead to uneven wear on your tires and negatively affect your vehicle’s handling.

Check Your Battery

Colder temperatures put more stress on your battery, as it’s much more difficult to start your vehicle on those frosty mornings. A simple voltage test on your battery will let you know if your battery is up to the challenge of a winter in KC. If it shows your battery is weak, don’t take chances on that battery failing at an inopportune time. Instead, purchase a new fresh battery before trouble hits you.

Maintain Your Cooling System

Antifreeze is the lifeblood of your vehicle’s engine, both during summer and winter. Make sure your vehicle coolant is up to strength to protect your car’s motor during the sub-freezing temperatures which are sure to come. Check your cooling system regularly for leaks in the hoses and connections and make sure to top off your coolant.

Check and Top Off Other Fluids

While you’re at it with the antifreeze, check the other fluids in your vehicle that keep your car running reliably. Keep your windshield washer fluid topped off so it doesn’t run out just when you need to clear that splash of slush blocking your view.

And speaking of clearing your windshield, make sure your windshield wipers aren’t worn. Wiper blades that are past their prime will cause streaking, making it more difficult to see as you drive.

Another simple tip is to keep your gasoline topped off. Colder temperatures can lead to an accumulation of condensation, which can freeze in your fuel pump or fuel lines. Put simply, gas cannot flow through frozen lines and frozen pumps.

Also, staying on top of your brake and transmission fluid levels during colder temperatures is another important factor in keeping your vehicle safe and reliable.

Check the Lights, Your Heater, and Other Winter Essentials

It may seem basic, but testing your defrosters and heater before the first freezing temperatures can save you from a nasty surprise the first time you attempt to use them.

Make sure all of your vehicle’s lights are in good working order, too. Be sure your headlights are working properly, both low and high beams, and that they haven’t weakened and dimmed in their light output. Check tail lights, turn signals, and running lights to make sure you’re visible to other drivers, even in thick snow or during dark winter nights.

Keep a Survival Kit

During this cold season, all drivers should have a well-stocked survival kit to keep them safe in case they get stranded. The kit needs to be more inclusive for those that do a lot of driving in rural areas that may not have a gas station nearby. Consider putting together a survival kit that contains a blanket, first aid kit, flashlight, basic tools, and jumper cables. Also, an extra cell phone charger that plugs into your vehicle cigarette lighter is a good idea. If you’re planning a winter road trip, keep a shovel in your trunk and some snacks in your glove box, and have some de-icer spray handy.

Reliable Used Cars at Auto Bank KC

Following at least these basic steps will make your winter driving both safer and more enjoyable. Of course, having a reliable vehicle goes a long way in keeping you safe no matter what season we’re in. If you’re in need of a quality, new-to-you used vehicle, look no further than Auto Bank KC, one of Kansas City’s top buy here pay here dealerships. We’ll get you in a vehicle that’s a perfect fit for your lifestyle and your budget. Browse our online inventory today or come see us at one of our two convenient locations in the KC metro.