Winter Maintenance Tips for Every Driver

Warm up your carAs we move into the cold season, we’d like to give drivers some winter maintenance tips for getting through the freezing cold temperatures without incident. Follow these tips to stay safe this winter season.

 

Inspect Your Battery

Cold temperatures can reduce the capacity of your car’s battery, which can cause your car to die and leave you stranded on the side of the road. Have your battery inspected going into winter, or just replace it altogether.

 

Replace Your Wiper Fluid

If you’re using all-season wiper fluid, it’s possible you’re at risk for a nasty surprise when it accidentally freezes on your windshield. Opt to replace your usual wiper fluid with a winter-grade kind.

 

Keep Your Tank Full

You never know when you’ll have an emergency on your hands, so don’t let your gas tank get too low in the colder months.

 

Check Your Tires

Cold temperatures cause tires to lose pressure faster. Plus, you should also make sure your treads are deep enough to brave slippery roads.

 

Pack an Emergency Kit

Emergencies happen, so make sure you have supplies like blankets, water, flashlights, and jumper cables on hand in case you end up stuck.

 

Follow these winter maintenance tips to get your car ready for hazardous weather conditions in the cold months!

Salt Damage, or Why You Should Wash Your Car in Winter

2016 Chevy Silverados in Snow
2016 Silverados in Snow

It’s easy to keep your car washed during the warm, spring months. In fact, many drivers find themselves inspired to do the work on their own. However – it’s more important to clean your car more than ever during winter, when harmful salt build-up can cause serious problems.

While the preventative salt on the road surely does its job in helping to protect us from unwanted snow, it also can really damage your car. Salt build-up can destroy your vehicle’s finish, promote rust growth, and even damage components.

This is why it’s vital to wash your car in the winter, especially if you’re driving on salted, snowy roads. It’s safe to wash your car as frequently as every other week, if not more, to keep the salt damage to a minimum.

If you find yourself washing your car personally, be sure not to neglect the underside, where most of the salt can be found. And don’t forget that safer driving will equal less salt action!

Fact or Myth: Should You Warm Up Your Car in the Morning?

Now that it’s really starting to get cold, it’s tempting to head outside a bit earlier than usual to “warm up” your car before it’s time to go.

But is this practice as necessary as many believe? Is it the fastest way to get your warm up your car? And is it safe?Warm up your car

Despite widely held belief, vehicles are designed with cold temperatures in mind and don’t need more than about 30 seconds to get ready. Driving your car will warm up the various components (like the oil and engine) faster than idling would.

Plus, idling your car not only wastes gasoline and precious money, but also, frequent, prolonged idling can be severely damaging to the engine and more, or lead to failure of the catalytic converter.

Plus, warming up your car for the sake of a cozy interior can contribute significantly to air pollution.

As long as your car isn’t more than 20 years old, it’s safe to assume that it will warm up just fine on its own, once you start driving. For more winter tips, visit us at Joe Holland Chevrolet.

Do You Have These Winter Emergency Items Ready in Your Car?

Winter Car Care

As the winter weather begins to pick up, it becomes more important than ever to make sure you have a well-stocked, seasonal emergency kit stowed away in your vehicle, just in case. To get you started, here is a list of winter emergency items to keep in your car:

  • A standard, pre-assembled first aid kit, which should include bandages and anti-biotic ointment
  • Fresh, clean water for hydration or to flush out any wounds
  • A blanket, as well as extra winter clothing, to stay warm
  • Healthy, non-perishable snacks, appropriate for all ages
  • An extra cell phone charger, cell phone battery – or maybe even an extra cell phone – in addition to a written list of phone numbers
  • A flash light with spare batteries
  • Any emergency medication that you or your frequent passengers could possibly need

And of course, the best way to prepare for winter roads is to drive a winter-ready vehicle. To check out what we have available, visit us anytime at Joe Holland Chevrolet.

Tips For if Your Brakes Fail

Brake Failure

Brake failure is nothing to joke about it. Knowing what to do if you suddenly lose all stopping power can make the difference between getting off the road and ending up in an accident. Stay safe on the road with these tips for if your brakes fail from us here at Joe Holland Chevrolet.

  • Remain calm. Keeping a clear head and staying aware of what’s going on around you is critical to making it out of traffic safely.
  • Try the brakes again. Most modern vehicles have a dual braking system. That means your rear and front brakes are independent of one another. To lose all braking power, both systems would have to fail. That’s a pretty unlikely (and unlucky) situation. Try putting strong, consistent pressure on the brake pedal to see if you can slow down at all.
  • Leave the engine running. Don’t turn off the engine. While it may be a good way to cut power to the engine in order to slow the car down, doing so also cuts power to the rest of the car. This includes the power steering. Without power steering, you’ll have a much more difficult time navigating out of traffic.

If you feel like you may need to change your brakes soon or have any other maintenance or services done on your Chevrolet, be sure to contact our Service Department.  We will be happy to help you with any questions you may have, even if you would like us to take a quick look.  It is always better to be safe than sorry and have your car checked in order to avoid any damages in the long run!