5 Tips for a Well-Prepared Car in Auburn Winters

November 10th, 2016 by

winterIt’s no secret that winters in Auburn, Washington, are brutal. The wettest months of the year are January, November, and December. Though the city only sees an average of four inches of snow, the cold, wet weather creates slushy, icy conditions that can be treacherous. Take a look at these five tips for getting your car prepared for winter.

1. Check Your Tires

When you drive on wet roads, it’s extremely important that your tires have excellent treads that can grip the pavement. That’s why you need to check your tires before winter. Through a visual inspection, you can see if there are any cracks or tears in the sidewall.

Check the tire treads for wear, which shows up as an overly smooth surface.  In addition to looking at the treads, you can do the penny test. Simply insert a penny with Lincoln’s head going down into the tread. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, you know it’s time to get new tires. Even if you don’t need new tires, schedule a time to visit your dealership to have your tires rotated to reduce excessive wear.

2. Refill the Fluids

As winter approaches, you need to check the critical fluids and top off the ones that are running low. For the cooling system, you want half water and half antifreeze to ensure optimal performance. If it’s been more than 30,000 miles since your last oil change, take your car to the dealership to get fresh oil. While your car’s in the dealer’s shop, ask them to check your transmission fluid and have them top off your windshield wiper fluid as well.

3. Create an Emergency Kit

The best winter emergency kits contain a few basic items: a flashlight and batteries, extra gloves, a secondary car charger for your cell phone, a small shovel, extra ice scrapers, cat litter or sand to provide traction, a few bottles of water, and some high-energy non-perishable snacks. It’s also smart to keep a couple of extra blankets in your trunk during winter. If you have a breakdown, you’ll be glad to have them. Think about including in your emergency kit an extra cell phone and charger just for calling for 911. For added peace of mind, keep road flares in your trunk.

4. Complete Regular Maintenance Tasks

Before winter strikes, revisit your manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. If you’re behind on any car care task, get it done. Can’t find the schedule that came with your vehicle? Contact your dealership, and the staff can access records of your previous maintenance work and tasks that are overdue.

5. Run the Heater

Even before the temperatures drop into the 30s, run your car’s heater to see if it’s working properly. You want to check the intensity of the blowers to ensure that you have adequate airflow. Next, determine if the air coming out of the vents is hot enough. If you encounter any problems with your in-cabin heating system, it’s best to let a mechanic at your dealership check it out and make any needed repairs.

By taking these steps in advance, your car will be ready when the cold weather arrives.


Image via Pixabay

Posted in Tips and Tricks