Vermont drivers have more to think about when it comes to driving conditions than those who live further south. Case in point: preparing for winter weather. What should you be doing to get yourself and your car ready?
Winter Car Maintenance Tips
You should always stay on top of maintaining your engine oil, regardless of the season, but your engine will be working extra hard during cold winters so it’s even more important. Top off your engine if needed with the correct oil for your vehicle, and if it has been a while since your last oil change or if your oil appears sludgy, make an appointment with the White River Service Department.
If you’re going to stick with your all-weather tires during the winter months, you must make sure they have plenty of tread on them to have any chance of driving well and stopping effectively during winter weather conditions. Ideally, you should talk to your White River Service technician about a set of dedicated winter tires. Regardless of the type of tire you have fitted, make sure the pressures are correct by checking at least once a week.
Radiator & Battery
Your coolant should be kept at the right level all year round, but in winter it’s vital to make sure there’s enough antifreeze to prevent your coolant freezing up. Frozen coolant when you come to start your vehicle is something you really want to avoid.
Your battery will be worked to its absolute limits in the winter, through a combination of the lights, heater, windshield wipers, etc. Check to see that it’s charging to the right voltage, and if you’ve had it for more than five years, talk to the White River service department about getting it changed.
Wipers & Fluid
Windshield wipers are often taken for granted, but we realize their importance when they’re not working the way they should, especially when travelling on the highway at high speeds. Check the rubber for cracks, nicks, and obvious signs of wear. New wipers are relatively inexpensive and easy to install, but if you’re not confident, your dealer will be happy to help. Also, make sure your washer fluid is full–and make sure you’re choosing a wiper fluid that will help you cut through the salt and debris of winter as well as keeping your fluid from freezing.
Keep It Clean
Even if you drive a rugged 4×4 with winter tires all round, keeping your vehicle clean in the winter is important (although admittedly a challenge). Lots of dirt, debris, and salt will be thrown up onto your vehicle during harsh winter conditions, and if you leave it, the salt can cause damage to paint and rust underneath. Even if you just hose off your vehicle regularly it will help, but a good quality wax will also work wonders for protecting your paintwork. Also, make sure you have the White River service technicians check the lubrication underneath your vehicle, so that you can prevent unnecessary wear and tear.
You might have had a scheduled service only a few months ago, but harsh winter driving conditions can place quite a strain on your vehicle and its many systems. Even if you are good at keeping up with the things mentioned above, it’s still a good idea to start the season off right by having White River service techs take a look at your vehicle.