Winter's extreme driving conditions, cold, salt, and stop-and-go traffic will take their toll on your vehicle. You can lessen the odds of mechanical failure through periodic maintenance. Your vehicle should last longer and receive a higher resale price, too!
The following tips require a skilled auto technician, so book your winter tune up now at Simcoe County Chrysler in Orillia, Ontario.
Battery: If your charging system is not working well, it may fail in cold weather. Have the system examined by a qualified technician. Check your manual to see how often all your filters should be changed.
Cooling System: The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled every 2 years. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant/ anti- freeze should be checked much more often. This can be a very tricky bit of maintenance to do yourself, so it is always recommended to get a professional to check your cooling system.
Oil: Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual. You should do this more often if you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage, or tow a trailer.
Engine Performance: Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc) as recommended in your manual. You should do this more often in dusty conditions, such as driving through construction zones.
Windshield Wipers: A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and get plenty of windshield washer solvent. You should also use season-specific blades, the same as you do for your tires.
Lights: Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean dirt and insects from all lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.
Tires: Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles. Check tire pressures once a month; check them while they're cold before driving for any distance. Don't forget to check your spare as well and be sure the jack is in good condition. Examine tires for tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. An alignment is warranted if there's uneven tread wear or if your vehicle pulls to one side.
Brakes: Brakes should be inspected as recommended in your manual, or sooner if you notice pulsations, grabbing, noises, or longer stopping distance. Minor brake problems should be corrected promptly.
Battery: Batteries can fail any time of year. The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment.
Emergencies: Carry some basic tools - ask a technician for suggestions. Also include a first aid kit, flares, and a flashlight. You should always carry season-specific safety gear, and change this when you change your tires and wiper blades.
Bring your vehicle into Simcoe County Chrysler in Orillia, Ontario for a comprehensive winter vehicle inspection and service.