Winter came upon us so quickly after a warm December, how do I get my vehicle ready for winter?
Many of our customers are like you and weren’t ready for the first snowfall that hit last week. One of the most common issues is something we’ve addressed in our fall blog, tires that are not properly inflated. It is indicated by a symbol on your dashboard that lights up and looks like an exclamation point inside parentheses. This is an important quick fix for both safety and gas mileage. Whenever a symbol appears on your dashboard, please call us or stop by the Jaffarian Service Department that week to take care of the issue. You can also book an appointment online. Spending an hour or two in our clean and comfortable waiting room in well worth the peace-of-mind that your vehicle is safe and ready to handle the winter weather. We have a lot of great service specials through the end of the month. (Click here for the coupons!) Or if you can’t wait, we offer a complimentary shuttle.
While most older model vehicles were supposed to have the antifreeze flushed out every two years, many of the newer vehicles have coolant that is supposed to be good up to 100,000 miles. Due to the severe driving conditions in New England, it is a good idea to start having the protection level checked beginning at 60,000 miles. I recommend that is checked every fall to prepare for winter, but it’s never too late. Here at Jaffarian, we believe that it is very important and do it as part of our multipoint inspection every time that your vehicle comes in for service.
Here are the other important items you need to address to prepare for this winter along with some tips:
• Keep the gas tank at least half-full to help avoid the tank and fuel lines from freezing.
• Replace wiper blades with new or winter blades that can handle snow and ice. As a general rule, blades should be replaced every six months.
• Have the radiator system serviced and check the antifreeze level.
• Check the heating system to be certain it works properly with no leaks, that the blower works and window defroster is working.
• Replace windshield-wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture.
• Replace any worn tires, make sure the tires have adequate tread, and check the air pressure in the tires.
• Have the battery and charging system checked. Cold weather is hard on batteries.
• Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure. That’s something than can be done with each oil change.
• Be diligent about changing the oil and filter at recommended intervals. Dirty oil can be a problem in winter. At Jaffarian, a certified technician will check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time and will put in the specific oil recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. That’s why it is so important not to rely on a quick oil change drive-through service as they may not use the specific oil recommended.
• If you’re due for a tune-up, have it done soon and follow your recommended service schedule. Winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling.
• Have the brakes checked. The braking system is the vehicle’s most important safety item.
• Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.
• Check to see that exterior and interior lights work and headlights are properly aimed.
I highly recommend that everyone carry an emergency kit containing the following:
Ice scraper and snowbrush
Flashlight and flares
Bottled water and dry food snacks
Cat litter, sand or ice melt and a shovel.
Stop by our Parts Department to prepare your emergency kit. Lastly, garage your car if you have one or can rent one to preserve the exterior finish of your vehicle. You may consider covering it with a tarp or other cover. Be sure to keep your cell phone charged.
Drive safely and next week I’ll be sharing important driving tips for winter weather.