Winter is hard on your car, and it is essential that you keep up on auto repair in Gary, IN, as well as routine maintenance. This is also not the best time of year for a breakdown, as you can be stranded in the cold for a long time. Here are auto repair and maintenance items you should avoid neglecting this winter:
- Monitor coolant levels: Coolant is often perceived as a summer necessity, but it helps your heater as much as your air conditioner. If you notice coolant leaks, you may experience a dead heater in the future. Coolant that has not been flushed for a while can also interfere with your heater and engine functioning, which can eventually lead to your engine overheating and breaking down—even in winter. If you do not remember the last time you had this service completed, schedule an appointment soon.
- Replace your battery: Cold temperatures place stress on batteries, and if your battery was struggling during the summer, it will likely be dead this winter. Weak batteries are also hard on your alternator, so by letting this slide, you are likely creating the need for two repairs in one. If it is near the end of your battery’s predicted lifespan, it is safer to replace it now rather than wait until you need jumper cables.
- Check tires: If your tire tread is low, that will not help you on snowy or icy roads. The penny test is a simple way to check this. Place Lincoln’s head first into the tread, and if it fails to cover it, you need to replace your tires. If your tread is adequate, keep mindful of inflation. You will likely find them deflated in the morning after a cold night, but the problem may resolve as you drive. Check them periodically, and if the pressure remains low even after a short drive, stop at a gas station to top off the air. If this is a frequent occurrence, consider having the tires examined for damage.
- Clear out the air plenum: The air plenum is the vents in front of your windshield. It helps with water drainage and air circulation, and it cannot perform these functions if debris blocks it. When you notice it is dirty, clean it out and consider checking seals on your door, windows and sunroof. Icy conditions are frequently tough on the softer parts of your car, and you need to maintain them so they stay watertight. Be aware of any leaks around your doors or windows, since you do not want ice forming on the inside of your car.
- Replace wiper blades: Windshield wipers are busy in the winter. Ice can rip them apart, so prop your wipers off your windshield at night to help them last longer. If your wipers freeze to the windshield, do not run them until you’ve defrosted it. However, if they are damaged or their performance dwindles, replace them. They make a big difference for visibility and ensuring an uneventful drive.
If you are looking for reliable auto repair in Gary, IN this winter, call Miller Brakes & Mufflers, Inc. to schedule an appointment.
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