8 Smart Tips to Help You Prepare Your Car for Colder Weather

Fall will officially be here on September 22! While there’s plenty of time to enjoy the crisp weather, vibrant colors of the fallen leaves, and pumpkin spice everything, winter will be here before you know it. During this time of the year, it’s especially important to pay close attention to your car and the many parts that make your vehicle function properly so that you can remain safe on the road.

Don’t fall behind on your car maintenance this year! Make sure that your car is ready for the upcoming cold weather by following these 8 car maintenance tips:

Check Your Tire Tread – Pay close attention to the tread on your tires now before winter arrives. Without proper tread depth, your car won’t be able to grip the road properly, which means that you will have a greater potential to hydroplane on wet roads. All you need is a penny! Insert Abe Lincoln’s head into the tread in a couple different spots on each tire. If you can see the entire top of his head, that means that your tread is less than 1/16th of an inch deep, and your tires should be replaced.

Get the Radiator Flushed – Over time, the coolant in your radiator will begin to break down and corrode the inside of the radiator. This can lead to cooling problems and even repairs to the radiator. This fall, remember to change out your coolant in order to protect your radiator throughout the winter.

Replace Torn Wiper Blades – Nothing’s more frustrating than trying to drive in inclement weather only to have your windshield wipers smudge the wintery precipitation across your windshield. If your wiper blades are torn, cracked, or don’t properly clean your windshield, have them replaced! As a good rule of thumb, your blades should be replaced every 6 months. Don’t forget to make sure that your fluid level in the windshield washer reservoir is full, too!

Get Your Belts and Hoses Checked – Before the cold weather settles in, get your vehicle’s belts and hoses serviced. You will want to ensure that the belts are not worn down and that all the fittings are tight and not rusted, and your hoses shouldn’t have any holes in them.

Check Your Headlights – Before you know it, the days will grow even shorter, and you will find yourself driving home from work in the dark. It’s important to take care of your headlights during this time of the year! Take a look to see if you need to replace any headlight bulbs. It’s not only unsafe to drive without a headlight, but you can also get a ticket for doing so!

Check Your HVAC System – You might think you can handle driving without any ventilation, but it’s really unwise to do so. Check your heating, ventilating, and air condition (HVAC) system to see that it is properly functioning. Your heating and cooling is important for not only your personal comfort during the changing seasons, but also for safety reasons such as defrosting your vehicle.

Get Your Brakes Checked – During this time of the year, consider having your brakes and braking system checked. This includes your brake linings, drums, and rotors as well. Your brakes are absolutely paramount to your safety, especially in snow and on ice-covered roads, so make sure that they are in solid working condition before the bad weather comes!

Keep an Eye on Your Battery – Batteries very rarely give off warning signs that they will soon fail, so take a peek to make sure that the battery’s connections are tight, clean, and corrosion-free. Remember, cold weather is especially hard on batteries, so take good care of it now before winter arrives. If your battery is more than three years old, consider replacing it.

Make sure that your car is properly protected with an auto insurance policy from Madison Mutual Insurance Company! Call your agent to get your policy updated or visit us at www.madisonmutual.com to learn more about how we can serve you.