Below freezing temperatures are just ahead of us and will be here before we know it. With the unpredictable weather in and around the Black Hills it’s a good idea to take the time to get your vehicle inspected for the months ahead. The last thing you want is to be stranded in a broke down vehicle in these temperatures.
The Car Care Council recommends the following nine steps for winterizing your vehicle.
- Have the battery and charging system checked for optimum performance. Cold weather is hard on batteries.
- Clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system. As a general rule of thumb, this should be done every two years.
- Make sure heaters, defrosters and wipers work properly. Consider winter wiper blades and use cold weather washer fluid. As a general rule, wiper blades should be replaced every six months.
- Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure. If snow and ice are a problem in your area, consider special tires designed to grip slick roads. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly. Check tire specials in the Rapid City Area.
- Be diligent about changing the oil and filter at recommended intervals. Dirty oil can spell trouble in winter. Consider changing to “winter weight” oil if you live in a cold climate. Have your technician check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time.
- If you’re due for a tune-up, have it done before winter sets in. Winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling.
- Have the brakes checked. The braking system is the vehicle’s most important safety item.
- Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.
- Check to see that exterior and interior lights work and headlights are properly aimed.
It’s always best to be over prepared than to be caught off guard. Another tip for preparing yourself for the winter months is to pack a ‘Winter Survival Kit’ that is always in your vehicle for the worst case scenarios.
Simply pack a tote or plastic container full of items that would be of necessity if you were to get stranded in your vehicle. For instance packing a flashlight, water bottles, dry snack food, matches and small candles, hats, gloves, a blanket, first aid kit, tow chain or rope, shovel and windshield scraper. Plus any other items you would need for yourself such as medications. It is also suggested to keep your vehicle’s fuel tank at a minimal of half at all times.
Another way to prepare yourself for the winter months in the Black Hills is to get into a vehicle that can handle any weather. Here at Rapid Chevrolet Cadillac we have a great selection of used 4-wheel drive trucks and All-wheel drive SUVs in the Rapid City area.
Our team at Rapid Chevrolet Cadillac is waiting to help you prepare your current vehicle with the proper service checks, parts and/or accessories for the winter months ahead. Or better yet to get you into a new vehicle that can tackle any weather!