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“Winter” can mean very different things to different regions. For some, it means several months of heavy coats for snow and ice, while residents in other parts of the U.S. merely need to unpack a windbreaker. Regardless of your climate, now's a good time to examine your vehicle for ways to better ensure safe travel. Here are a few tips on how to winterize your car:
Inspect your tires
Your tires are susceptible to pressure changes when temperatures fluctuate, so it’s best to check the pressure periodically, especially before long trips. A few minutes of preventative maintenance could help your fuel efficiency and save you hours of heartache on the side of the road with a blowout. And don’t forget to check the spare tire if you have one.
Also, examine your tread depth and make sure it’s at least 1/8 inch. If not, consider upgrading to new tires before road conditions become challenging.
Check your battery
Cold temperatures put stress on your car’s battery, so make sure it’s in good working order before testing its durability. Head to your GM dealership to have it tested. For added peace of mind in case of an emergency, you can keep jumper cables and a battery charger in your vehicle.
Speaking of emergencies, keeping a kit stowed in your vehicle is a good way to be prepared for the random occurrences along the road. Here are a few items to keep in your emergency kit:
· Can of aerosol tire sealant
· Flashlight for nighttime repairs
· Duct tape for holding essential items together in a pinch
· Poncho for wet weather
· Windshield scraper for icy buildup
· Reflective triangles for breakdowns in the dark
Keep it serviced
If you can’t remember the last time you had your vehicle serviced, it might be time to schedule regular maintenance. Getting your vehicle’s fluids and filters changed on schedule is imperative, especially when temperatures change. Antifreeze, wiper fluid, motor oil: It all needs changing or refilling eventually. Schedule a visit with your dealership and make sure everything remains good under the hood.
By Scooter Hendon, GM Financial
GM Financial's Scooter Hendon might have a funny name, but he's serious about educating customers about financing their vehicles – and no, not the foot-powered kind on two wheels.