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Prepare for the Winter Months

It is that time of year when jackets get heavier and the Heat replaces the AC in your home and car. It's also the time of year that your vehicle needs to be ready for winter. The last thing you want is to be stuck in the cold. Your vehicle needs to be safe and dependable. The stakes are higher in the winter when it comes to declining recommended services and repairs.

There are some specific things that we need to do to have our vehicle ready for winter. Here are a few of the important items to consider:

The First thing is to have your antifreeze checked. If the antifreeze protection is not set correctly your engine may not be protected and your radiator or hoses could freeze. If your heat doesn't seem to work, check your antifreeze level. It may be low, or there could be a thermostat problem. Get it checked! Now is the perfect time of year for a cooling system service.

In the cold months we always worry about being able to brake in time. Obviously we can all slow down allowing ourselves plenty of room to stop. A comprehensive brake inspection will reveal if the pads, rotors or any other key parts need to be replaced. Also, have your NAPA AutoCare Center check your brake fluid. It can accumulate water over time, which can really mess with your ability to stop in the winter.

Have your battery tested! A battery's power really declines with the temperature. If your battery is weak in the fall, it may not work in the winter.

It is also a good idea to replace your windshield wipers before any winter storms. Ask your service professional about special winter blades if live in an area with a lot of snow and ice. Be sure to have enough windshield washer fluid.

The final thing you should consider? Your tires! Tires lose pressure over time – up to one pound every six to eight weeks. For every 10 degrees the temperature drops you lose another pound of pressure. So if it was 70 degrees when you last checked your tire pressure and now it is 30, you could be down FIVE pounds of pressure. That can be a real safety issue, it wastes gas too. You may need special winter tires as well. Ask for help to find out the right tire design for your expected road conditions.

Contact your locally owned NAPA AutoCare Center for a complete inspection on these winter items or for advice on other service repairs.

Posted December 12th, 2013

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