Regardless of the season, there are always things you need to do to care for your car’s body, paint, and overall condition. No season tests that principle to the limit…like winter. Waiting until the first patch of black ice or the first snowfall is not the time to address winter erosion for your car, truck, or suv. Even here in Portsmouth and Chesapeake, Virginia winter precipitation can wreak havoc on your car’s appearance.
But before you can even think about protecting the appearance I would focus on safety. First and foremost I would get a checklist of key items to review. Here is a link to a couple of reputable checklists.
Good old Triple A has winter tips to get you started at this auto blog link
If you have ever heard the term ASE certified than you probably recognize this acronym. It stands for automotive service excellence and offers a great auto checklist at this tire maintenance link.
Start Early..Maintain Your Car Often
There is no time when you can really ever neglect your car. The key is to be aware of it and stay on a schedule. Seasonal weather changes are great reminders that there are things you must do. Try to get in this habit and do not risk falling behind on your maintenance.
Let Us Start With Tires..
If there is one area where you really want to watch closely with your car, it is your car’s tires. While not as aesthetically stunning as a beautiful paint job, it can be the very difference between something that can mess up that paint job or auto body, if it fails to do what it is supposed to do.
Tire maintenance is as good as any area to begin your automotive winter maintenance preparation plan. And in that tire maintenance let us start with a simple but often overlooked factor, proper tire tread depth. To be on the road as it gets colder, wetter, icier and slipperier, depending on the undependable is not a wise choice.
Tire Tread Depth
Worn out or inadequate tire treads can be a recipe for disaster. I have read about different tire tread depth tests. One involved using a coin to see if your tires are deep enough. This is great but I say take it in to your auto shop and have the professionals look at the tires on your Fall or pre winter oil change. Don’t take chances and make sure the tires are in working condition.
So let us say you have past the tire tread test and your tires have a safe amount of tread. At that point turn your focus to the air levels in the tires. This one may be trickier than you think. As weather gets cooler your tire pressure will drop naturally. With no leaks in your tire, your inflation levels may not be enough to allow you to stop safely on the road. Make sure your car care professional has checked and inflated your tires to the proper winter levels.
Naturally I cannot go over every area you need to focus on. This is a good start though, in tandem with a through winter maintenance car checklist from a reputable source.
Prepare Your Tires for Winter Weather – The Allstate Blog. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://blog.allstate.com/prepare-your-tires-for-winter-weather/
Preparing Your Tires for Winter | Plymouth Rock Assurance. (2017, December 4). Retrieved from https://blog.plymouthrock.com/preparing-tires-winter/