Whether you’re gearing up to venture out into snow and ice or you’re expecting a mild winter, these tasks are essential for safe driving in any weather and extending the life of your vehicle.
Get an inspection.
Ask your technician to check your tires for proper pressure and tread wear, then request a look at the timing belt, wiper blades, battery, and headlights. Minor work now can spare you major headaches—and expenses—later.
Check tire pressure and tire tread frequently.
There’s a chance that when the weather turns colder, you’ll see a horseshoe-shaped light with an exclamation point on your dashboard. Don’t fret. That’s a Tire Pressure Monitoring System icon letting you know your tire pressure is low and reminding you to check it. Underinflated tires adversely affect your vehicle in terms of handling, gas mileage, and safety and maneuvering on wet roads, snow, and ice.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the risk of skids and spinouts increases on worn tires. To check for wear, do the quarter test: Insert a quarter into the tread, with Washington's head upside down. If you can see the top of George's noggin, it's time for new tires.
In areas with heavy snowfall and ice, snow tires on all four wheels provide the best traction. You should install them in November and remove them in April.