Winter Maintenance Tips

Dear Car Guys...
Brrrrr! It's real cold outside and my car's complaining. Any suggestions on what I should do to avoid Old Man Winter's wrath?

Signed, Frosty in Franklinville

Dear Frosty:

The Old Man can be mighty surly by the time he gets to strut his stuff each year, but there are several precautions you can take to minimize the effects of this mean streak.

  1. Check your antifreeze. Antifreeze should be set at a freeze point of 40 below zero. You can check it with an anti-freeze tester (available through your local auto parts store.) If you need to add antifreeze, make sure you mix it with water 50/50 mix is best.

  2. Pressure test the cooling system for antifreeze leaks.

  3. Inspect belts and hoses.

  4. Check and top off all fluids.

  5. Inspect tires for tread depth, air pressure and general condition.

  6. Test the electrical system. Old or weak batteries should be replaced with a good one. Do not try to be cheap here or you'll end up paying a lot more in the long run. Check terminals for corrosion. To clean them use a battery terminal brush along with a mixture of baking soda and water.

  7. Install Winter wiper blades.

  8. Brakes, suspension, steering, starters and alternators should all be checked for problems, as well.

  9. Let your car warm up for a couple of minutes after starting, especially on those extra cold mornings. If you are unsure of how to do any of these things, visit your mechanic right away. He/she can properly inspect all these parts and easily make the adjustments required for a smoother Winter. Happy holidays and safe driving,

The Car Guys have been providing a warm smile in the automotive service business for 20 years. Gerry's Service in Amherst has Technicians certified through ASE (Automotive Service Excellence).

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9200 Transit Road
East Amherst, New York 14051
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