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Understanding the Importance of Winterizing Your Vehicle

Bass Transmissions Asks: Is Your Vehicle Running Okay This Winter?

Are you thinking about winterizing your vehicle in Roanoke, VA? While spring is on the horizon, we still have a few weeks, or months, left of chilly weather. The mechanics at Bass Transmissions & Automotive Repair have some tips and advice on how to stay safe when traveling this winter.

No matter how old your vehicle is, winter can be harsh. Salt, ice, and below-freezing temperatures wreak havoc on tires, fluids, and other parts of the vehicle, which can leave you sitting. Our mechanics want to remind you of the importance of getting your vehicle maintenance before and during the winter months. Maintenance helps to make sure everything is working well.

This month, we’re going to give you some tips on how to stay moving all through the winter months. Make a checklist before the cold sets in to make sure your vehicle is ready to go and safe for winter driving.

Winter Tires Will Benefit You During These Chilly Months

The first step to winterizing your vehicle is getting winter tires. You may think that your current all-season tires are good enough and will want to skip this first step. But this will all depend on the climate where you live. Like Bridgestone mentions, winter tires will be the best choice if you must drive in slick, icy conditions. If you live where there are mild winters, all-season tires may be fine.

So, what makes winter tires different? These tires have a different tread rubber and edges, allowing them to provide better traction. This means that you have better control when driving through snow, wet roads, or icy conditions.

After getting your new winter tires, make sure that they have the appropriate pressure throughout the season. Your vehicle will list the right pressure to keep in your tires inflated and safe for use.

Check the Battery and Starter

Making sure your battery is fully charged before the cold sets in is an important part of winterizing your vehicle. As Consumer Reports reminds us, batteries have only half the turning power at zero degrees than at 80. This means that a battery that is not fully charged at the beginning of winter may not make it throughout the season. The mechanics of Bass Transmissions can check your battery and starter to make sure that they are ready to go for the colder months. One can affect the other, so it’s good to obtain some preventive maintenance and battery checks to know that your vehicle is ready to go.

Make Sure to Top Off All Fluids as Temperatures Dip

Another important step in winterizing your vehicle is making sure that all fluids are full and ready to go. When oil, gas, or other certain types of fluid get too low, they can gel and become unusable.

Be sure to keep your windshield wiper fluid full, as well. It’s best to use a fluid with antifreeze in order to keep the fluid from freezing in the vehicle or on the windshield. While you’re topping off the wiper fluid, it wouldn’t hurt to check those blades, too! You don’t want to be driving down a snowy or rainy highway and realize that the blades are too dull to keep up. This will compromise your visibility and the safety of those around you.

Also be sure to check coolant levels before winter. If there is an issue with the cooling system, you may smell it before you notice any issues. Check for puddles under the vehicle and check your manual for when to have the system flushed.

Don’t Rush – Let Your Engine Warm Up

You may remember sitting in your vehicle waiting for it to warm up before driving. While more modern cars are not usually as temperamental, it’s still good to let the engine warm up before driving. Running outside to start your vehicle ten minutes or so before you need to leave will help the engine warm up and can get the heat to start blowing.

Keep a Winter Safety Kit in Your Vehicle at All Times

One year-round tip we have for drivers is to keep a safety kit in their vehicle, but in winter especially. Inclement weather and poor road conditions may leave you sitting for a few minutes or hours while waiting for assistance. A few key items to keep with you include, but are not limited to:

  • Non-perishable food items, like granola bars or crackers
  • A heavy blanket
  • Flare
  • Tire pressure gauge/air pump
  • Spare tire
  • Gloves
  • Extra set of clothing
  • Snow shoes
  • Toolbox

These items may help you in a pinch, especially if you experience car trouble during a chilly winter night. Tailoring your winter safety kit to your own personal needs will keep you safe no matter what, or could help someone along the road – literally!

Visit Bass Transmissions & Automotive Repair for Winterization

Have you completed these things on our list, or does your vehicle still need to winterize it? Bass Transmissions & Automotive Repair offers winterization for vehicles in Roanoke, VA, and the surrounding areas. We work closely with our customers to make sure their vehicle is ready for winter, or any season! Call us today for preventive maintenance. We also offer quality automotive repair and transmission work.

Are you looking for a new, experienced mechanic? Call Bass Transmissions & Automotive Repair in Roanoke, VA, at (540) 345-8871 or follow us on Facebook for updates. Ask us today about winterizing your vehicle.