Winter is just around the corner. Your car is going to need a trip to the repair shop if it’s to hold up against the weather.
While it’s tempting to save some money in the short-term by simply pushing your car to its limits and exercising caution, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Winter brings with it heavy storms, black ice and lots of slush, making even a minor lapse in your car’s efficiency potentially life-threatening. Vehicle negligence is a huge issue in the United States and costs the country billions of dollars in lost performance, damages and injuries. Just double-checking your brakes or installing your winter tires a little ahead of schedule can save you a world of hurt.
Keep yourself and other drivers safe by keeping your car in good shape. Here’s what you should be doing over the following month.
Perform Regular Car Maintenance
Car maintenance isn’t just for when your engine breaks down. It’s a constant action you need to take to make sure you’re not indirectly putting yourself or others in danger. It’s estimated over $60 billion worth of car maintenance goes unperformed every year in the United States. Consider the average repair cost in the United States is just $300, with an estimated $200 for parts and $100 for labor. Compare this to the potential thousands you could pay in medical bills and repair fees for just one car crash. It’s recommended you bring your car to the shop at least twice a year to be on the safe side.
Install All Four Winter Tires
Your winter tires are your best resource against slippery, icy roads. When your brakes are compromised by a mere few inches it can mean the difference between a simple drive and a sudden collision. The types of tires you need can be best determined by a professional, particularly if you have an older car model. Over 250 million types of tires are discarded each year, with recent recycling programs melting the rubber from certain types of tires for asphalt or garden mulch. It’s also possible for companies to make new tires out of old ones.
Check Tire Rotation Frequently
It’s not just different types of tires for winter you should keep an eye on, but tire rotation. This will make sure your tires aren’t wearing out prematurely and leaving you in a bad position to turn or brake effectively. A simple rotation can save you a lot of money and effort sifting through tire brands. Something you might not know is that new cars don’t usually come with spare tires. Manufacturers today are trying to decrease the weight due to changing emissions rules, selling new cars with patch kits and a can of compressed air instead.
Change Your Oil
A simple task you can do is just changing your car’s oil. There are six fluids in a traditional car that requires both maintenance and replenishing. You have motor oil, power steering fluid, coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid and windshield washer fluid. Studies have shown Americans drive their passenger cars and trucks just over 10,000 miles per year and get an oil change every 3,000 miles, though the brand of your car can also change how often you should drop by the repair shop. Double-check your manufacturer’s manual and follow it closely to keep your car performing at peak efficiency.
Double-Check Strange Noises Or Reduced Performance
It’s important to be proactive and reactive. When a car breaks down it can stress you out and throw your week into a tizzy. Checking out any suspicious noises, such as clanking, grinding or chugging, can make sure you’re stopping a small problem from becoming a very expensive issue. Lesser performance should also be a source of contention. Does your car not seem to turn as sharply as it used to? Do you worry your car’s speed is affected, irregardless of weather changes?
It’s better to be safe than sorry. Learn about different types of tires and safety measures by taking your car to the shop this month.