Winter is a bad time to experience a breakdown. Low temperatures, snow and ice make rescues a difficult endeavor, and if roadside assistance is dealing with many instances that night, you could end up waiting a long time. That is why you need to keep up with maintenance and request auto repair in Gary, IN at the first signs of trouble. Here are six tips to avoid being stranded:
- Keep up with oil changes: Staying on schedule with your oil changes is a cost-effective maintenance task that offers great benefits. Your engine will run better on clean oil, and your mechanic can be sure there is enough oil in your engine. If your oil gets too low, or even burns or leaks out entirely, you risk a catastrophic failure. Also, oil changes are when inspections occur, so they offer a chance to find problems before they become serious. That is why auto repair shops push oil changes relentlessly; many issues can be avoided entirely by not skipping a simple oil change.
- Replace battery on time: Dead batteries cause many vehicles to end up stranded each year. If you had a struggling battery previously, winter conditions and temperatures will surely kill it now. Batteries occasionally last longer than their claimed lifespan, but that is not something you want to push for too long. If you find your car struggles to start or every cold day starts with jumper cables, purchase a new battery as soon as possible.
- Pay attention to your “check engine” light: Your check engine light could indicate anything from a loose gas cap to a failing catalytic converter. Many cars end up dead on the road because this warning light was ignored for too long. You will not know how serious the problem is with your engine unless you have it checked. When you see the check engine light or any other warning light illuminate on your dashboard, call us before you have a major problem.
- Keep coolant topped off: Cars can overheat even in the winter, especially if coolant levels are not maintained. Also, leaks in the radiator can lead to your heater core breaking down and making it impossible to heat your car. While your car will still run, this is not a time to go without heat. Check your coolant and keep an eye on your driveway for leaks. If you have not had a coolant flush for a while, schedule one now.
- Maintain tires: Your tires are your best allies during the winter. If there is a chance a puncture or other damage is keeping them deflated, take them in for repair. Monitor air pressure, too, because on some cold days, you will need to top them off. Also, if the tread gets low, you are asking to get stuck in slush or lose the ability to travel up an icy hill. Replace your tires when the tread no longer serves its purpose.
- Address drivability concerns: Slow acceleration, loose steering and other factors that make driving comfortable are not your imagination. They could indicate a serious problem. When your car handles or drives differently, err on the side of caution and call the shop so we can check it out.
Good auto repair in Gary, IN will keep your car reliable during the winter and all year long. Call Miller Brakes and Mufflers, Inc. today to schedule an appointment.
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