Winter is breathing down your neck. With the cold weather fast-approaching, now's the perfect time to remind yourself about proper auto maintenance. Heavy rains, ice storms, snow storms, and black ice can all put a world of hurt on your car. The last thing you want is to get stranded somewhere, or worse, end up in a car accident, because you failed to properly maintain your car. Luckily, you can reduce your chances of experiencing those problems by following the four maintenance tips provided below.
Don't Just Shake the Air Filter Off
There are a lot of expenses involved with owning a car. Some of the expenses can be mitigated by cutting a few corners, such as paying for the less expensive car wash, or buying the lower grade gasoline once a month. However, when it comes to maintenance, don't cut corners with your engine. This includes your air filter. Simply shaking the dirt off won't help your engine. In fact, it could allow dirt and debris to get sucked right through to your engine, and reduce air flow. If it's dirty, make sure you replace it.
Don't Start Winter With Old Windshield Wipers
Winter's almost here. Do you know what your windshield wipers look like? If you don't, you may be in for a nasty surprise when the first big rain storm or snow storm hits. Don't get stuck with reduced visibility this year. Begin the winter with a fresh set of windshield wipers. This is also a good time to make sure that your windshield cleaner reservoir is filled with fresh winter-grade windshield cleaner. You'll want the kind that contains de-icer so your windshield won't get coated with visibility-reducing ice.
Don't Neglect Your Brake Pads
Your brakes are going to endure a lot of bad weather this winter. Make sure they're up to the task by having them inspected. Worn out brake pads, or rotors that are severely etched, could interfere with your cars braking ability, which can have devastating results during the winter. Make sure your brakes will be able to stop your car in any type of weather by having them serviced.
Don't Ignore Your Check Engine Light
If your check engine light comes on, don't assume it's because you didn't put your gas cap on properly. While a loose gas cap can cause your check engine light to come on, so can several other things – including some that can lead to breakdowns. If your check engine light comes on this winter, stop by an auto repair shop and have them take a look at it.