4 tips that will save you money on car repairs this winter
As winter grows more harsh for many people across the country, it may be a good time to check up on your car and make sure it is prepared for the weather. If not you could end up paying if your vehicle has trouble holding up through the bitter winter.
Preparing your car for the cold can save you money in the long run by ensuring you don't have to take as many trips to the mechanic this winter. With the change in weather upon us, you should start ensuring that your vehicle is prepared for the cold. For more information on what you should do to make sure your car is dragging you to the mechanic over the next few months, check out some of the hints below:
1. Check out what kind of oil you're using
When the temperature outside begins to drop, so does that of your engine, 21st Century Insurance explained. It is important that you make sure you're using the proper oil for the weather outside. For example, if you reside somewhere where the temperature is likely to drop below freezing on a regular basis, it is probably you will have to switch-up your oil this winter. If you live in a cold region, use oil that is thinner and less viscous. If your summer oil is 10W-40 grade, then switch to 5W-30 for the winter. Check your owner's manual for information that relates directly to your vehicle.
2. Measure the air in your tires
One issue that comes up over and over in the winter is a flat tire, Trent Hamm, the founder of TheSimpleDollar.com, wrote on Daily Finance. When the temperature drops a bit, your tires will deflate slightly. The loss of air is enough to maximize any weaknesses in your car's tire, and increase the likelihood of a flat. This can be prevented by regularly checking to make sure that your tires are properly inflated. Again, the specifics of this task should be based upon the instructions of your owner's manual. You may also need a pressure gauge, but that won't be prohibitively expensive. While you're doing this, it couldn't hurt to examine your tires and make sure they're not overly worn.
3. Take a look at your windshield wiper blades and fluid
While driving during the winter months one common frustration is visibility, 21st Century Insurance noted. Salt buildup and precipitation could make seeing through your windshield a nightmare, so it is vital to ensure that your wiper blades are working and your fluid is at appropriate levels. You may even want to switch out your blades for a pair that are better suited for harsh winters. And don't forget your fluid - running out during a blizzard wouldn't be pretty.
4. Pack up an emergency kit
You may find yourself in an emergency situation at some point during the winter, and if this is the unfortunate case then a pre-packed kit will come in handy, Daily Finance explained. You will need supplies to ensure that you can stay warm, and possibly the tools to fix your vehicle's issue yourself. Some things to include in an emergency kit are blankets, warm clothes, road flares, jumper cables and a tool kit, among other things.
With winter coming, preparing your car for the weather will likely save you some money by preventing situations such as flat tires or non-existent visibility. Use the four tips above to begin preparing your car for the freezing weather.