The end of the year has arrived and in no time at all winter will be upon us. Before you start daydreaming about wandering in a winter wonderland, start planning how to prepare your ride for the new season. Between the holidays and last minute vacations, winter is a major time for travel, but also a dangerous time to be on the road. If you live in an area with snow or have plans that will take you over the river and into the snowy woods, make sure to gear up your ride now by following these simple steps:
- Swap out your wiper blades – It’s important to maintain your visibility during the winter season and one key to keeping your view from being obstructed is to invest in a new set of windshield wipers. Winter wiper blades are bigger, sturdier, and better equipped to keep your windshield clear during winter weather. Make sure to equip a set of wipers that will keep your view clear in freezing rain, sleet, or snow.
- Check your battery – Extreme temperatures can really put a toll on your vehicle and just like the high summer heat, the deep chill of winter can really push your battery to its limit. If you haven’t checked your battery lately make an appointment to have your vehicle inspected by a professional and make sure your electrical system will be able to handle whatever Old Man Winter throws your way.
- Change your oil – Inside and out, your car needs to be ready for the cold. During your next oil change, make sure to have cold weather appropriate oil in your engine. 5W-30 oil is recommended as it flows quicker in the cold than 20W-50.
- Trick out your tires – Driving in snow dulls the tread on your tires. Invest in a quality set of snow tires or chains to protect you from tire slippage while traveling over icy roads. Even if you won’t be driving in the snow this winter, pay extra attention to your wheels. Cold weather naturally decreases the air pressure in your tires (and driving on low tires makes your engine work harder and eats up more gas). So, make sure to check for the correct tire pressure setting every two to four weeks.
- Stock up on winter gear – Whether or not you plan to travel this winter, getting your vehicle ready to brave the cold means assembling an emergency kit in case the worst happens. Your first instinct may be to put your kit in the trunk, but you’re better off having it in the back passenger seat (if no one is riding back there) for easier access or in case your trunk gets frozen shut. When assembling your kit, include emergency flares and reflectors, a first aid kit, kitty litter (for traction on slick roads), water bottles, blankets, and jumper cables to name a few items.
With these tips in mind, we hope that you’ll be better prepared to brave the weather. If you do need an extra bit of help, be sure to contact Quic Transmission & Automotive Services to schedule an appointment at our shop. Call (505) 271-8000 today! We’ll help get New Mexico drivers prepared before they travel somewhere cold this winter.