There are a few easy ways to make sure your vehicle withstands the winter months. First and foremost, check your tire pressure.
“This time of year, the biggest damage we see is really tire pressure, people sliding into curbs. When you have weak tire pressure, it affects the braking, it affects the performance, it affects the steering, it affects the gas mileage. I can’t tell you how many things tires affect between you and the road,” said Owner of Clark’s Car Care, Matt Weber.
You can check tire pressure at home or at the gas station, and many local auto mechanics will also check it for free.
Another easy way to stay safe on the road, use a winter blend of windshield wiper fluid.
“It’s getting to our ‘polar vortex’ season, so if you have more of a summer blend inside that tank, you might want to squirt it all out and change it, at least to a 0 degree temp because if that freezes, it’s just like the pipes in your house. It will freeze, it will cost you hundreds of dollars, and it’s an inconvenience and a safety issue by not being able to see,” said Weber.
And before you drive, make sure you have enough gas.
“When a car is low on gas, it’s hard to start the car. The fuel pump inside your gas tank, it can cavitate fuel, which means swishing around. You don’t want that. It hurts your gas mileage, you have no reserve, you want to keep it at least above a quarter tank,” said Weber.
Weber recommends letting your car warm-up for at least three minutes before hitting the road.
“Back in the day it was kind of myth that we would warm up our car and it’s a waste of gas. It’s actually a savings of gas because it wakes up the computers, it allows all the sensors in the car to wake up and get you better gas mileage. Also makes your body more comfortable, lets things warm up,” said Weber.
But when warming up your car, don’t leave it unattended as it could be a target for theft.
Another tip, have the number for a reliable mechanic or tow truck saved in your phone so you don’t have to scramble in an emergency.
Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.
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