Winter Vehicle Maintenance Tips

Man clearing snow from car windshieldIt’s important to keep your vehicle in good shape as the seasons change. As the mercury drops, there are things you can do to maintain your vehicle and stay safe on the road. These simple tips from the personal injury lawyers at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad can help you prepare your vehicle for winter and avoid being stranded or involved in an accident.

Check Your Tires

Good all-season or winter tires make a huge difference when navigating icy, snowy roads. If your tires are worn or balding, now is the perfect time to invest in new ones. Not only do they keep you safer, appropriate tires that are in good shape make driving in the snow much less stressful. Throughout the colder months, it’s important to check that tires are properly inflated as well – they can lose or gain one to two PSI of air for every 10℉ change in temperature.

Inspect Windshield Wipers

When inclement weather makes visibility poor, the last thing you want are ineffective windshield wipers. Making sure your windshield wipers are functioning properly is one of the easiest things you can do to protect yourself and avoid motor vehicle accidents. If your wiper blades have seen better days, replace them. They can wear out faster than you think, sometimes in as little as six months.  It’s also a good idea to make sure to use windshield wiper fluid that is suited for low temperatures and fill it often. Don’t forget to put an ice scraper in your car and clear all windows before you get on the road.

Check Your Oil And Antifreeze

To make sure your car performs well in the winter, check the oil to ensure it is at the proper level and consistency. If you need to put oil in your vehicle, always consult the owner’s manual and use the recommended oil type to optimize performance.

The right level of antifreeze is also a must to keep your vehicle from being damaged. Use quality antifreeze and pay attention to recommended levels to avoid leaks and other problems. If you’re taking your car in for an oil change, ask them to check all fluids and top them off.

Maintain Your Battery

Frigid temperatures put car batteries to the test. When it’s cold outside, your vehicle’s engine requires more power to start. Make sure your battery is charged and in good condition. You can also use a battery charger or maintainer to keep it powered up and ready, no matter how cold it may be. This can help you avoid any surprises on icy mornings or when you’re ready to head home after a long day’s work.

Make Sure The Heat Is In Working Order

It’s no fun to jump in the car on a freezing day to find that the heat isn’t working. Checking the heater in your vehicle before the chill of winter sets in can help you stay nice and toasty and ensure your defrosters are working properly. If the air blowing from the vents is cold or your heat doesn’t seem to be functioning at an optimal level, have your mechanic take a look at it.

Check Your Lights

Ensuring all of your vehicle’s lights and turn signals are in good shape makes sense any time of year, but it’s especially important to help you see in the snow. The days also get shorter so you may be commuting home in the dark. An extinguished brake light, turn signal, or headlight can make you less visible and lead to car accidents. If any bulbs are out, have them replaced before winter starts. Always make sure to clear snow from exterior lights and turn signals.

Make A Cold Weather Emergency Kit

Although it doesn’t have much to do with vehicle maintenance, being prepared in case of a winter breakdown could save your life. Keep blankets, mittens, socks, hats, a first aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, bottled water, and a cell phone charger in your trunk or backseat. A bag of cat litter and a shovel can also be useful for getting yourself out if you’re stuck in icy or snowy conditions.

Contact A Car Accident Lawyer

Unfortunately, winter weather can lead to motor vehicle crashes, especially when motorists don’t drive safely or fail to follow the rules of the road. Our auto accident attorneys at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad help injured victims throughout eastern Pennsylvania find the compensation and justice they deserve. To schedule a consultation, contact us online or call our Bethlehem office at 610-867-2900.

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