With winter fast approaching, there's no better time than the present to give your car a little TLC. The cold weather can increase the chance of failure with certain automotive systems and components -- and there's nothing worse than breaking down on the side of the road during this time of year. So, what kind of maintenance should you perform to keep your car running this winter?
Check the Battery
Car batteries can die during any time of the year. However, they are far more likely to fail during the cold winter weather. This is because cold temperatures slow the chemical reactions that occur inside of a battery, degrading its quality and shortening its lifespan. You can use a basic multimeter to check your battery's charge.
Change the Oil
Winter is also the perfect time to change your car's oil. As engine oil accumulates dirt and other impurities, it becomes less effective at lubricating the internal components and wicking away heat. This doesn't necessarily mean that you need to change your car's oil every 3,000 miles, but you should change it at least once every 6,000 miles, and especially at the turn of winter.
Replace Wiper Blades
Wiper blades often wear down during the winter season, due largely in pact to drivers using them to remove ice from their windshield. When the blades become too worn down, however, they may fail to effectively remove water when it rains, creating a serious hazard in bad weather. Thankfully, replacing wiper blades is inexpensive and easy to perform, with most standard wiper blades costing less than $20 bucks for a pair.
Add Fuel Deicer
Moisture may accumulate inside the fuel lines during winter, which can promote rust and cause serious damage. To prevent this from happening, it's recommended that you add a bottle of fuel deicer to your gas tank. As the name suggests, deicer works as antifreeze, preventing moisture from freezing and damaging the fuel line.
Check Tire Inflation Levels
Driving around on underinflated tires consumes more gas, which in turn increases your fuel costs. On the other hand, driving around on overinflated tires increases the risk of a blowout. Tire inflation levels may fluctuate during winter because of the chances in humidity and temperature. So, try to get into the habit of checking the air levels on a regular basis, either adding or releasing air as needed.