In the winter it is inevitable that you will have to remove ice, snow, and frost from your vehicle. You will want to make sure that you clear the windshield, side windows, rear windshield, and side mirrors. In order to start your vehicle so you can start to warm it up, and warm up the windshield, you will want to make sure you can get in your vehicle. You may need to have a lock de-icer to get in. Lock de-icer is simply a specific concentration of isopropyl alcohol. It’s the same chemical compound found in rubbing alcohol, for example, but at a much stronger concentration. Lock de-icer, is at least 98 percent isopropyl alcohol, while rubbing alcohol is typically between 50 and 70 percent strength. That potent alcoholic liquid works by lowering the freezing point of water. Lock de-icer is designed to act as a fail-safe to open your doors when the small key hole cover flap meant to keep moisture out of locks and prevent them from freezing up doesn’t do the trick.
In order to make sure you have a safe, reliable, and smooth ride, the tires need to be inspected regularly. They should be free from any cracks or puncture marks on them. This can be the first sign that problems may occur later on, when you least expect it.
Besides inspect the tires, you can also change a few driving habits to help ensure a safer ride. Adding distance between the vehicle in front of you and yourself can allow more time to react if they slam on the brakes or encounter something. It will also give you more distance if you need to stop as well. It is recommended to stay at least three seconds behind someone when driving. That should be doubled or tripled in the case of poor weather.
Your vehicle’s exhaust system is an important part and should be checked at least once a year. When winter comes, you have to be careful of damages to your exhaust system from icy road conditions. If something in the road causes damage, you will need to get a muffler and exhaust repair quickly to avoid any dangerous effects from harmful gases getting inside your car. The exhaust system and muffler are typically mounted on the bottom rear of most vehicles. At any time, especially during winter driving conditions, these can be damaged by potholes, large bumps, as well as debris in the road such as ice chunks. Driving on frequent short trips is the worst thing you can do for your exhaust system in the cold weather.
When the temperatures drop, you will want your vehicle to be safe and reliable when you drive it. Part of this includes making sure that the battery for your vehicle works. No matter if you are on your way to work, school, or driving for fun, having your vehicle start is important. Make sure to bring your vehicle in for regular maintenance inspections. By doing so, you can help ensure the battery is able to last as long as possible.
Between regular inspections, you can inspect the battery on your vehicle yourself. Check to make sure the terminals are not dirty or have corrosion on them. Also make sure they are tight and can properly keep the current. If the terminal is loose or has corrosion, it may assist in the battery starting to fail. If you notice this, make sure to schedule an appointment so we can fix it for you as soon as possible.
Make sure to inspect the tires on your vehicle regularly this winter. The tread, air pressure, and overall condition are all things to check. A tire’s tread helps it to maintain traction with the road, especially in wet or icy conditions. The specific pattern of the tread determines the conditions for which the tire is best suited. The treads on rain tires are generally V-shaped, allowing them to quickly channel water away from the tire’s driving surface. The rubber on the driving surface of the tires wears off with use, which reduces tread depth over time.
Unusual brake noise or braking behaviors should be treated as a warning that one of the most essential systems on your car is malfunctioning. The brakes are exposed to tremendous forces and generate a lot of heat every time you stop your car. When you press on the brake, all the energy that your vehicle creates by moving down the road has to be converted to heat through friction.
A rattle noise from the brakes is a common issue for drivers. Most often brake rattle happens when you let up off the pedal. Suddenly you may hear a rattle. Usually it sounds like the rattle made when shaking a can of spray paint. Brake pads can rattle sometimes due to heat expansion, especially if they were installed without anti-rattle shims. Keep in mind that this rattle should not be consistent and it should never happen while you have your foot on the brake pedal.
The battery should be inspected visually for corrosion or any other buildup of debris regularly. The surface of the battery should be clean and free from any dirt buildup. The connection points and posts should also be free of corrosion or rust. This can decrease the power it is able to supply your vehicle. It is also recommended to have the battery professionally tested to see if it is able to hold the charge effectively.
As the hours of daylight start to shorten, make sure that the lights on your vehicle are working properly. You can clean off the lights by using a sponge or car cleaning cloth with a car cleaner. This way you can scrub and wipe away the buildup of road grime that has collected on the headlights and taillights from the previous months. By cleaning the lights, you can help to ensure you have the brightest and clearest beams possible when driving. Having good quality lights can help your visibility when you drive. The lights on the vehicle are also important to help other drivers see you. This can help to reduce the chance of an accident if you need to stop in an emergency situation.
Why should you keep your Windshield Clean
Keeping the windshield clean and clear can help provide you with the best visibility possible when you are driving. Knowing what is ahead on the road can allow ample time for you to react to the situation. If you notice a crack or divot in the windshield, it is recommended to have it repaired as soon as possible. This can help make sure you have a clear and straight view of the road ahead of you.
One of the single cheapest ways to make sure your windshield stays in good shape is to replace your wiper blades often. Most blades aren’t hard to snap off and replace, nor are they expensive. An inspection of the wiper blades also is easy. Run your hand along one at a time and feel along for holes in the edge or torn pieces of rubber that could mean that the windshield wiper is ineffective. If it leaves significant streaks during a rainstorm or does not appear to be hugging the contour of the glass, than it might be time to look into a replacement windshield wiper blade for the vehicle.
Tire dry rot refers to the cracking and splitting that can occur in the sidewalls or treads of rubber tires as the rubber ages and becomes brittle. It is also known as sidewall cracking. Ozone and ultraviolet light are the primary environmental causes of tire dry rot. Tire manufacturers blend chemical ingredients into the tire during the manufacturing process in an effort to combat dry rot caused by ozone and UV exposure. Carbon black is added to the rubber to protect the tires from UV light. Waxes are added to the rubber during tire manufacturing to protect the tire against damage from ozone. If the vehicle is left to sit, the tires may develop dry rot. Make sure to check the tires regularly for any issues they might have.
Keeping Your Tires in Proper Condition
It is a good idea to check your tire pressure on a consistent basis. Once a month or is a good rule. Some more recent model vehicles have a built in computer that do this for you. A warning will show up when a tire is low on air pressure, and which one is the culprit. You can also purchase an air pressure gauge and keep it in your glove department. Besides checking the air pressure, you can also bring it in and we can inspect the air pressure for you. Proper air pressure in the tires can help them to rotate, as they should. It can also improve the fuel efficiency for the vehicle when you drive.