The holidays are a hectic time of year, and car maintenance probably isn’t the first thing you’re thinking of — but is should be.
If you’re planning on taking your car on a road trip in the winter weather, here’s what you should do to prepare in advance.
Check Your Fluid Levels
You should change your oil regularly — especially before a long road trip. Most vehicles should have an oil change every 3,000 miles, or every six months. Other fluids you — or a mechanic from Milito’s Auto Repair — should check before you take off on a long road trip include transmission fluid, windshield washer fluid, antifreeze, and brake fluids.
Test Out the Lights
You don’t want to be caught in a storm without dependable illumination. Before taking off, take a walk around your car to make sure all the lights are working properly. Look at everything from your headlights — including high and low beams — flashers, directional signals, and brake lights.
Measure Your Tire Pressure and Check Your Spare
Tires lose pressure over time, and for every 10-degree temperature drop, they also lose one to two pounds of pressure. This is a potential problem because underinflated tires are more prone to blowouts, which is exactly what you don’t want to have happen on your holiday road trip.
Use a tire gauge and check the tire pressure against the manufacturer’s specifications when they’re nice and cold. It can also be helpful to have your tires rotated every time that you change the oil. In addition, make sure your spare tire is functional and that you have the necessary tools to change a flat.
You can also invest in winter tires, which have tread patterns and rubber compounds designed to grip on snow and ice.
Make An Emergency Kit
You never know what can happen, so pack a few basics in case you do have trouble. Along with those holiday gifts, you should also load up your trunk with jumper cables, a small shovel, flares, flashlight, ice scraper, first-aid kit, water, energy bars, blankets, and extra gloves and hats.
Be Prepared For Snow
Along with a small shovel and snow scraper, you should keep a bag of salt, sand, or non-clumping kitty litter in the trunk for traction in case one of your tires gets stuck in snow. If your windshield wipers are more than six months old, stop into Milito’s Auto Repair where they can quickly swap them out for a new set. The last thing you want is streaking or insufficient clearing of your windshield during a storm.
Have a Mechanic Look Under the Hood
It can be a good idea to bring your car to a licensed mechanic before setting off on your trip. While you might be able to check the tire pressure and windshield fluid, a mechanic can check the radiator, hoses, battery, fluids, and rotate your tires, if needed.
Get your vehicle ready for a winter holiday road trip at Milito’s Auto Repair
If you’re ready to set out on the winter roads for a holiday trip, you can depend on the professionalism and expertise of the crew at Milito’s Auto Repair for all your vehicle needs. Contact us today!