Don’t let your summer thinking find you stuck with a winter problem. Out of every season in Sterling, VA, winter is by far the most demanding on your vehicle. From freezing temperatures and excess amounts of ice and snow, your battery power will quickly drain, and rock salt and chemicals may eat away at your frame. You may want to make sure you have covered all aspects of preparing your vehicle before driving on the roads this winter.
At Casey’s Automotive, our team of experienced mechanics provides efficient car maintenance services to make sure your vehicle can handle the winter elements in Sterling, VA. Here are just a few things that can help prepare your vehicle fort hose cold months.
1. Get Your Battery Checked
Dead or dying batteries are usually the number one reason for an uptick in roadside assistance requests during a cold snap. While heat can cause more damage to your vehicle’s battery than cold weather, simply starting your vehicle in cold weather puts more of a strain on it. Batteries tend to work harder in below-freezing temperatures, and starting up the engine doubles the amount of energy or current needed during normal weather conditions. A few signs to look out for will include, a slow, cranking start upon ignition,a grinding or clicking sound, or dimming headlights while idling that brighten when you rev the engine.
2. Inspect the Cooling System & Antifreeze
Why is the cooling system important in cold weather? Your vehicle’s engine runs hot and requires a cooling system to keep it operating at an optimal temperature regardless of the season. By having a coolant that runs through the channels of the engine block, the system stays regulated in both the warmer and colder months. In order for the coolant to do its job properly, it must stay in a liquid form. This is especially important in the winter given that coolants are equal amounts of water and antifreeze (50/50). If your vehicle is sitting overnight in below freezing temperatures,and your coolant mixture gets too low, you run the risk of freezing your engine block. Having your cooling system inspected is one of the many ways that you can help to ensure your vehicle is prepared for the coming winter months.
3. Replace Old Windshield Wiper Blades
If your wipers are a few weeks or months new, they may simply be dirty and you may clean the debris off. However, when it’s been much longer and your wipers begin to leave significant streaks or smears, then it is time to replace your wiper blades. Also, keep an ice scraper in your car for quick ice removal!(Need an ice scraper? Ask your Casey’s service advisor)
4. Replace Your Old Tires
Do you remember the last time you checked your tread depth or tire pressure? When the weather starts to shift into the colder months, it is easy to forget how quickly extremely cold temperatures can cause the tread rubber of a tire to stiffen therefore becoming less able to provide sufficient traction. Poor tread and worn tires are a major safety hazard on the road, especially if the tread is too low as your tires won’t be able to grip the roads, so it’s important to have your old tires replaced. Check out Casey’s Winter Special where with the purchase of 3 specially selected tires,will get you the fourth for free!
5. Get Your Brakes System Inspected
Maintaining a vehicle’s brakes is something that is often overlooked by most owners, but keeping your brakes in good working order can prevent costly repairs down the line, and help you avoid a collision.Warning signs to look out for include, your vehicle pulling to one side while braking, a loud grinding or metallic sound, and a strange vibration or pulsating when the brake pedal is depressed. Symptoms such as these should not be ignored as the slippery winter roads can cause your brakes to function poorly, so make you have them replaced as soon as possible.
6. Switch Out Dirty Filters
The easiest part of air filtration maintenance is replacing the air filter.Your vehicle’s air, oil, and PCV filters need to be replaced periodically so that it runs efficiently. Replacing these filters will keep your engine protected longer by cleaning out dirt, allergens, pollution’s, and bug residue from the air before it goes into the car. If not for clean air filters, little contaminants wear on the engine’s metal producing more debris along the way that can damage the engine.
7. Get Your Oil Changed
Your vehicle should be maintained with clean and sufficient amounts of oil to prevent over-heating and lack of lubrication of the engine. With lower temperatures oil tends to thicken, which makes it difficult for oil to flow smoothly and protect your engine. If the moving parts of your engine lack the proper lubrication, it can create friction which in turn creates heat. Changing your oil and filters often will help keep your vehicle running the way it is supposed to, as well as extend its longevity!
8. Check Your Transmission
Cold weather is known for affecting a car’s transmission system causing slipping which is when the gear shifts delay or become stuck. While you can get a transmission flush to avoid this, it is best to have a professional inspect it first.
Choose Casey’s Automotive for your one-stop car repair shop in Sterling, VA or Chantilly, VA. Getting your car prepared for this coming winter can be stressful especially with the holidays right around the corner. Our team at Casey’s Automotive can help you stay prepared for the colder temperatures by providing the car maintenance services you need to stay safe on the roads this season. Whether you need an oil change, brake inspection, or battery installation, our professionals can determine the exact car repair and maintenance services you need to be done.
Contact us today to schedule a car maintenance inspection at our Sterling, VA or Chantilly, VA locations! Check out our Winter Special for great deals on winterizing your vehicle!