Impending Winter Darkness Prompts Critical Car Maintenance

As summer leads into fall, darker nights become apparent as you drive home. Whether you live in a moderate region or a snow-prone wonderland, your vehicle needs some winter preparation to ensure safe travels each day. Take a look at some of the simple chores you can complete in little time that add value to your ride.

Switch Out the Lights

If you can’t remember when your headlights were last changed, it’s time to update this critical feature. Try a bright bulb type, such as a 921 LED bulb. Unlike traditional filament bulbs, LEDs offer bright light through use of electronic components. A group of LEDs fills the bulb, allowing you to see better and farther on dark nights. With less heat generation and long life, LEDs won’t need to be replaced anytime soon.

Inspect the Tires

Whether you just bought your tires or have a few years on them, take a flashlight and inspect the tires closely. You’re looking for uneven wear, nails or even cracks. Although the tires may seem fine during driving, any noticeable damage could snowball into a flat tire. Replace any tires with little tread as well to keep your vehicle firmly adhered to the road on slick evenings.

Change the Oil

Cooler weather means oil has less viscosity, allowing it to thicken somewhat inside the engine. If the oil is overdue for a change, it clings to the internal parts while hindering movement. Change the oil and filter well before cold weather arrives to feel the difference in engine operation. The ride feels smoother and responds much better than with older oil.

Add an Emergency Kit

Accidents and emergencies can happen, so make the best of any situation with an emergency kit in the trunk. Carry jumper cables, extra oil, antifreeze and other vehicle basics. Some people even prefer to carry flares to place around the car for better visibility. Be sure to bring along an extra cellphone battery with a full charge as well. Your preparation could pay off one night.

Getting caught out after dark isn’t a problem when your car is ready for cooler temperatures and possible emergency situations. Try to keep extra water, snacks and blankets in the car just in case you must rough it for a night. Whether the water is for you or the radiator, staying safe is your number one priority.

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