Whether it's a vehicle's first winter or fifteenth, it's important to properly prepare it to handle dropping temperatures and inclement weather. Here's a maintenance checklist to make sure cars are ready for winter.
Test the Battery
Batteries expend more energy in cold, winter weather than they do during warmer months. A weak battery may die more quickly when temperatures drop. Before it gets too cold, drivers should consider testing the voltage of their car's battery and replacing it if necessary.
Check Lighting Conditions
When winter comes, most car owners take lower temperatures and other conditions into account. However, it's easy to forget that winter also means fewer daylight hours. Before the days begin to shorten, it's important to make sure that a vehicle's lights are in good shape, which means clearing up foggy or yellow lights and making any necessary repairs or replacements.
Top Off Antifreeze
Antifreeze keeps the engine from reaching dangerously low temperatures and can help prevent the need for engine repair. In addition to making sure the car is properly filled with antifreeze, it's also important to ensure there aren't any leaks.
Check Defroster and Climate Control
Having a working heater keeps long car rides in the winter from becoming uncomfortable. Also, a fully functional defroster helps drivers navigate safely because a foggy windshield can obscure a driver's vision in a matter of minutes. Once temperatures start to drop, drivers should check if their heaters and defrosters are working.
Finally, it's important to make sure that tires are prepared for winter conditions. It's important to regularly check tire pressure in cold temperatures. A temperature drop of 10 degrees can cause tires to lose an entire pound of pressure per square inch (PSI). In addition to unpredictable handling, this can also create premature tire wear or tread separation if left unchecked, requiring tire repairs.
Although winter maintenance can make a difference, drivers should keep up with car maintenance throughout the year. A+ Japanese Auto Repair Inc. has helped clients from San Mateo and nearby cities since 1997. If your Japanese car is overdue for a winter tune-up or has other repair needs, call us at (650) 595-2277 to schedule a winter service special today!