Get Ready for the Winter

Winter is once again in the air and, we could not stop it from coming. All we can do is get prepared for it.

Well, winter won’t stop us from our daily habits either: traveling for work, for business or even for a visit to somebody out of town. But, the thing is our car gets greater hazards in this season, so we’d better get them in its best shape before the snow starts getting falling.

Edward Peace, an instructor in the University of Alaska Anchorage’s auto diesel technology department, knows what can go wrong and how to prevent trouble through few simple steps. I took his words quoted from ktuu.com:

“We expect to get into the car, vehicle or whatever it might be; we turn the key and it’s going to start and when it doesn’t start we’re at a loss. We don’t know what to do… Cars have become more complicated. We look under the hood and we say, ‘Oh dear, this is nothing like grandpa had,’ and it’s not. But, it still needs to be maintained. As good as it is, it’s no better than the maintenance we put into vehicle.”

Stay on top of basic repairs – “In most cases, it’s a matter of us ignoring our minor maintenance or our preventive maintenance, if you will.”

Then, here are the Peace’s recommendations:

  1. “Get your oil changed, get air filter checked. Air filters are a huge issue here, saves you gas mileage and a lot of expenses with the vehicle.”
  2. “Another thing that is key this time of year is your battery. You want to look for corrosion, dirtness – that type of thing. Anything that will prevent the electricity from the batter getting to the starter to start this up on a cold morning.”
  3. “Understand that a battery at 100 percent – if this battery is 100 percent at room temperature at 30 degrees, it’s probably going to be at 50 percent. As the temperature drops, the efficiency of the batter drops with it,” implying that batteries tend to loose charge as it gets colder.
  4. Engine coolant and washer fluid levels should be maintained.
  5. Flushing the antifreeze every 30,000 miles or three years is recommended. However, owner’s manual tells the actual count, as model and makes’ requirement vary. “If General Motors calls for an orange, put their orange in. If Ford calss for an orange, put their orange in. The two do not like each other. They will not mix’ you can cause internal damage to the engine.”
  6. “The tires, in the winter time, if you have bald tires – I don’t care if you have the best tires in the world – if they are bald in the winter time, in the snow and ice you’re going to create problems,” saying that we should check whether the rubber meets the road.
  7. “If you can see the top of his hairline, the tire is ready to be changed. It’s that simple and anybody can do that’ it’s not rocket science,” explains as he said that simple tire test can be accomplished with a penny through determining “Abe’s hairline”.
  8. Keep an emergency preparedness kit in cars, anticipating accident along the road.

Have these essential items included in you car survival kit:

  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • A multitool knife
  • Extra set of clothes – so you can turn the car off and still stay warm
  • Extra socks, gloves and hats
  • Blankets
  • Waterproof matches and candle. (used to help keep warm)
  • Small can – to melt snow for drinking water
  • Local maps
  • Tools (screwdriver, pliers, wrench)
  • Road flares
  • Rope
  • Jumper Cables
  • Small shovel
  • Set of tire chains

“Maintain your vehicle – minor maintenance, change your oil, change your fluids, keep an eye on your car. Do not take your car for granted,” a nice piece of advice that seems so easy but oftentimes neglected. We just have to love our car and be responsible for it as it also takes responsibility of our life as we drive.

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