vehicle maintanence

Summer is almost over, fall is right around the corner, and winter’s frost will soon bring cold temperatures that can be tough on any vehicle. It’s one of those tasks nobody looks forward to, but preparing your car for winter is necessary to keep both you and your car safe during the season.
Be ready for incoming cold snaps and frost with this checklist, and take your vehicle to the experts at your nearest Milex Complete Auto Care location to ensure your car will be running smoothly no matter what Mother Nature throws in your way.
“The first thing you can do to prepare for winter is to pack a kit with necessities.”
1. Make a winter kit
The first thing anyone can do to get their car ready for winter is to pack a kit containing essentials you might need if you find your car stalled or broken down during frigid temperatures. Keep an ice scraper and can of defroster, a blanket and snow shovel in your trunk once the mercury starts to drop. You’ll also want to have a pair of dry and warm snow boots, a coat, gloves and anything else to protect yourself from the elements.
If you can, keep a pair of jumper cables in your car along with a ration of dry, nonperishable food, some bottled water, matches, a flashlight and a car cellphone charger.
Using snow chains or placing regular cat litter or rock salt under your car tires may also help get your wheels out of an icy situation.
2. Check your antifreeze
Save yourself from possibly spending thousands of dollars to fix a damaged engine and get your car’s coolant levels checked in autumn before freezing temperatures arrive in your area. If a vehicle doesn’t have enough antifreeze, or if it has poor coolant, the car’s radiator may freeze, and the engine block could suffer. You can purchase an antifreeze tester to examine your levels. if you’re unsure of how to check your coolant or change it out, it may be best to leave the job to a professional.
3. Have your brakes inspected
Take your car over to a mechanic or the professionals at Milex to have your brakes, pads and fluid inspected. Your brakes need to be in good condition to handle icy or snow roads. If it’s time to replace your pads, do so before winter arrives.
Also, check your tires and their pressure. You’ll need to ensure they all have enough tread and air in them so your vehicle can grip the highway as best as possible.
Besides inspecting the depth and tread of your tires, also remember to rotate them and check your car’s alignment. Rotating your tires will keep the tread even on all four of them and lengthen their life.
4. Change your fluids
While your antifreeze should be the first fluid you check when preparing your vehicle for winter, don’t forget to change your oil regularly. Many auto manufacturers recommend changing your oil and filter every 3,000 to 5,000 miles to keep your car running smoothly.
You might also consider using a special winter weight oil with a different viscosity that flows through your engine more efficiently during colder months. If you happen to live in particularly cold climates, restock your windshield wiper fluid with one that can stand up to negative temperatures. Switching out your wiper blades to a special version designed for winter weather will help you keep ice and snow from sticking to them and your windshield.
“Save your tank from freezing by always keeping it at least half full.”
5. Gas up
Always try to keep your gas tank half full when the mercury drops below 32 degrees. This will keep the elements from possibly freezing the fuel and gas lines in your car.
6. Inspect your battery
If you dread another frigid morning of getting in your car only to find that it won’t turn on, then check your vehicle power supply before extreme weather hits. Cold weather can zap a battery’s power, so keeping your vehicle in a garage or ensuring that its running optimal rate can get you through winter without your engine stalling.
7. Exhaust and HVAC
For safety’s sake, have a professional mechanic inspect your car’s exhaust system to safeguard yourself from any potential carbon monoxide leaks. Exposure to the gas can be deadly, and it may happen if there’s leakage and you’re driving with your windows up.
Besides the all-important exhaust inspection, you’ll also want to ensure that your vehicle heater is working properly for both your safety and comfort.

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