The winter is arriving, meaning that you will need to prepare your vehicle for the change in weather. Along with making roads more difficult to travel on, the winter can introduce new stresses to the components of your vehicle. However, using a proper winter maintenance routine on your vehicle will allow you to keep your vehicle running smoothly and safely during the winter. Equip Your Vehicle with Winter Tires Winter tires are designed specifically for use on snow and ice. In comparison with other types of tires, winter tires are made up of softer rubber compounds that are able to remain flexible in cold temperatures. The tread patterns of winter tires also allow them to get better traction in slippery road conditions. The characteristics of winter tires not only allow them to boost the performance of your vehicle during the winter but also make your vehicle safer for you to drive in the winter. Routinely Check the Air Pressure of Your Vehicle's Tires As you drive your vehicle during the winter, the air pressure in its tires will drop at a faster rate as a result of the colder temperatures. Therefore, you will need to check the air pressure of your vehicle's tires more frequently to ensure that the tires have enough air. Driving your vehicle with low air pressure in its tires will cause the tires to wear out faster and perform less effectively as well. You can find the air pressure that your vehicle's manufacturer recommends for its tires in the vehicle's owner's manual or on the door jam of its driver's-side door. At C&S Car Company, we will be glad to check your vehicle's tire pressure for you and fill the tires with air if it is needed. Inspect Your Vehicle's HVAC System The heating components of your vehicle, such as the heater or heated seats, are all parts of the vehicle's HVAC system. Therefore, you should make sure that your vehicle's HVAC system is in good condition and ready to use before the winter arrives. Make sure that the system isn't damaged, that its parts are working correctly, and that its fluids aren't leaking. Repair any Windshield Damage Cold temperatures make glass more brittle, ultimately making it more susceptible to cracking and breaking. If any of the glass on your vehicle, especially its windshield, is damaged, then repair the damage before winter arrives so that the damage doesn't worsen during the cold season. Small glass damage can typically be repaired using resin, but if any of the glass on your vehicle is damaged severely, then you should replace the glass completely. Replace and Fill Your Vehicle's Fluids Your vehicle relies on various fluids to run smoothly and to provide you with the performance and features that you are accustomed to. However, as you drive your vehicle more, its fluids begin to age and break down in their composition. Therefore, you will need to replace the fluids so that your vehicle can continue to run optimally. There are many fluids in your vehicle, such as oil and antifreeze. As you prepare your vehicle for the winter, check the levels of the fluids that are in your vehicle and make sure that the fluids are still fresh. If the fluids are overdue for a change, then drain them and replace them. Top off and add any fluids that are low in your vehicle as well. Build a Roadside Emergency Kit It is important for you to always be prepared for an emergency on the road. Have people that you can call if you are left stranded in your vehicle during the winter and develop a plan of action in case you encounter an emergency. Keep a roadside emergency kit in your car so that you can remain at ease if you have an unexpected emergency while you are driving. Your kit should at least include a set of jumper cables, some extra food and water, and a flashlight. You can include any items in your kit that you believe will be necessary for you during an emergency. The cold weather of the winter can introduce unique challenges to your vehicle. However, preparing your vehicle for the winter will allow it to continue running dependably after the temperatures drop. Visit us at C&S Car Company so that we can provide you with more information about winter maintenance for your vehicle. We will be glad to look at your vehicle for you and service the vehicle so that it will be ready for the winter.