Maine’s winter weather is right around the corner, so it’s time to start thinking about winterizing your car. Car winterization includes both preventative maintenance to keep you safe on the road as well as emergency planning in case something goes wrong. Here are our 7 tips for winterizing your car.
1. Get Your Coolant Checked
Coolant lubricates your car’s moving parts and protects the engine from overheating. A visit with your mechanic will ensure that you have the proper ratio of water to anti-freeze during the colder temperatures to prevent your coolant from freezing.
2. Have Your Battery Tested
The winter season can be very taxing on your car’s battery as the freezing temperatures cause it to produce less power. The cold weather causes your battery and transmission to work much harder to get your vehicle running. To avoid the risk of breaking down, it’s best to get a quick test by a trained professional. For optimal winter performance, a battery at or above 600 CCA (cold cranking amps) is recommended.
3. Switch to Winter Tires
Unpredictable weather conditions can make driving a challenge, but winter tires offer optimal grip on snow and ice to keep you safe. As of October 1st, studded tires are permitted on Maine roads, so come get yours at Berube’s for added safety.
4. Have Your Belts, Hoses, and Cables Checked
While these can suffer from wear and tear at any time of year, having one of them fail during the winter season could leave you out in the cold waiting for a tow. Ensure that your belts are free of cracks, your cables are well lubricated, and that your hoses don’t have any leaks.
5. Have Your Brakes Inspected
Your brakes need to be in top-performing condition to keep you safe through the snow, ice, and slush that cover Maine’s roads during the winter season. Keep an eye out for these telltale signs that you need to get your brakes checked.
6. Get an Oil Change
If you haven’t already had this done for winter, now is a great time to get it done at Berube’s! The cold weather actually thickens your oil, making your transmission have to work much harder. When the oil can’t move freely, your gears can freeze, increasing the risk of a transmission failure.
7. Pack a Winter Driving Kit
Be prepared for anything with a winter driving kit in case you do get stuck on the side of the road for what could be hours at a time. Your kit should include the following essentials:
- Warm coat, hat, socks, boots, and gloves;
- First aid kit;
- Ice scraper;
- Extra anti-freeze;
- Car tool kit;
- Small shovel;
A bag of sand or litter can come in handy to free your tires if you get stuck.
Winterize Your Vehicle at Berube’s Complete Auto Care in Maine
Maine winters can be extreme, which is why winterizing your car is so essential. It not only helps to ensure your safety, but you’re also doing your part to protect your fellow drivers on the road.