Is Your Car Ready for the Cold Months of Winter?

Winter months mean cold temperatures, rain and snow, all of which can take a toll on your vehicle. Worn batteries, hoses, belts and other components can fail, leaving you stranded on the side of the road. Additionally, driving in wintery conditions can become a lot more frightful if tires or brakes need to be replaced. By making a commitment to preventive maintenance, you can avoid, or at least minimize, the chances of breaking down. Here are a few items to have checked: Wiper Blades & Windshield: Less daylight hours, snow and rainy conditions can hinder visibility making it dangerous to drive. Nothing is worse than driving in a snow storm and finding your wiper blades are worn. Now is a good time to replace those blades. It's also important to take care of any small cracks you may have in your windshield. Changes in temperature can cause a minor ding or crack to become a major crack. Fluids: Checking fluids is the least expensive and easiest way to maintain the life of your vehicle. Change your oil and filter frequently (about every 3,000 miles). When it comes to the cooling system, it's a good idea to have it drained, flushed and the coolant replaced once a year. Your transmission fluid should also be changed about every two years (frequency can differ depending on how you drive). And don't overlook the power steering, brake, radiator and battery fluids. Finally, remember to top off windshield washer fluid. Batteries and Corroded Cables: Cold, winter mornings can wreak havoc on an older battery. The average life of a battery is 3 1/2 years. If your battery is older than that, it's probably time to have it replaced. Before you do, you can bring it in for a check and we’ll let you know how well your battery holds a charge. Tires: Worn, bald or badly aligned or balanced tires can mean accidents on ice, rain or snow. Have your tires checked for proper inflation and alignment, and rotate them about every 3,000 miles. Wondering if you should install snows or all-season tires? We can help you choose the tires that best match your needs and budget. Anything Else Made of Rubber: The rubber parts under your hood need maintenance, too. Radiator, heater and vacuum hoses, among others, should be checked for cracks and bulges. Also, inspect all belts for damages and splits. Brakes: Don't postpone needed brake work. It's dangerous to drive with brakes that are performing poorly, but especially so in snowy weather. Postponing brake service can also dramatically increase the cost when you actually get around to repairing your brakes. If you have any question about the reliability of your vehicle’s brakes, we can complete an inspection. Lights: Last, but not least, check your lights. Accidents can occur if you can't see where you're driving, or if other drivers can't see you. The easiest way to make sure your vehicle is in tip-top condition for winter driving is to bring it to Trojan Auto Care. We'll let you know if there are any problems that need your immediate attention. We'll also alert you to any future maintenance items.
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