Is your car prepared for cooler weather?
With cooler temperatures sweeping the valley, it is finally time to do some fall and winter maintenance on our cars. We assume you have the basics covered, such as changing your oil and buying an ice scraper for the two days a year you need one in Phoenix, but you may be surprised at the other preparations that go into seasonal driving. These tips from Premier Coach Works will help keep your car running smoothly until spring starts in February.
First, if you are planning on venturing to colder area this winter, you may want to look into purchasing winter tires, especially for longer trips. For shorter trips in the snow, such as a weekend venture to Flagstaff, carry snow chains in your vehicle to avoid becoming stuck in a snow drift. The all-season tires you probably have mounted right now are great for most weather events encountered in Arizona. However, if you find yourself in a blizzard, wide tires with low-profiles used for aesthetic appeal do very poorly in snow.
Along with making sure you have the right kind of tires, it is important to check your tire pressure. Low tire pressure can cause your car to lose grip on the road and careen out of control. Always drive on properly inflated tires and replace them when the tread is worn.
Second, it is time to replace your windshield wipers. While you probably used your wipers more often than usual in this year’s monsoon, they bake in the sun unused most of the year. Rain and fog are far more common in the winter months than the summer in the Phoenix area, and beam blade style wipers function quite well in all kinds of environments. If you do happen to see some snow this year, be sure to turn your wipers off before parking so that the wiper motor is not struggling to move frozen wiper blades. To increase visibility in poor weather, wax your headlights and taillights. This will make it easier for other drivers to see you and for you to see the road.
Car owners in Phoenix generally worry about batteries dying in the heat of summer, but colder weather can put as much stress on your car battery as hot weather. Be proactive and check your battery’s charge level early this winter. If the charge is very low or if the battery is old, you can replace it for the best price, rather than hitchhike to the nearest big box retail store after your battery dies during your lunch break and buy a new one at a higher rate.
If you have followed through on your car’s maintenance over the course of the year, you probably do not even need to flush and fill your coolant. However, if you have not changed out your antifreeze in the last couple of years, have moved to a colder climate, or if you have an older car, you should check your coolant levels. Just be sure to never leave antifreeze in reach of any pets, as it is extremely toxic when eaten.
Finally, in any season, be prepared. Keep a survival kit of sorts in your vehicle with a space blanket, a seatbelt cutter, a wind-up flashlight, emergency repair equipment, a spare tire, etc. You can find a more comprehensive list of important items to keep in your vehicle survival kit on Arizona’s Emergency Preparedness website.
Premier Coach Works Auto & RV Body Shop is the leading expert on vehicle repair and maintenance in the Phoenix Valley. We would prefer it if you never had to experience an automobile accident; however, we know that accidents happen, so we make it our mission to provide every customer with an exceptional experience at a fair price. We also specialize in auto and RV maintenance – from tune-ups to paintjobs, Premier Coach Works can do it all.
The next time your vehicle is in need of maintenance or repair, give us a call at 623-935-6678 or contact us online for a free quote.