Steven Toyota’s Top Tips for Winter Driving
Winter is coming! That means it’s time to start preparing your vehicle for the cold temperatures and harsh weather to come. With harsh weather and cold temperatures comes car problems that could leave you out in the cold. Ensure you and your vehicle make it through the winter without any hiccups by following these wonderful tips on winterizing your vehicle.
Not ready to winterize your vehicle on your own? Steven Toyota can help, as our service and parts professionals have the knowledge and product to help you keep your vehicle in tip-top shape during the winter months.
Batteries Need Attention, Too
One of the best ways to ensure you and your vehicle survive the winter is to check and maintain your battery. The battery in your vehicle is one of the most important parts of your car, as it not only helps the vehicle start-up, but it keeps all of the accessories running, including that precious heat system. As the temperatures drop outside, so does the cranking power and charge of your battery, so make sure to constantly check your battery to ensure it’s operating effectively.
Checking the charge level on your battery is simple, just bring it to the service center here at Steven Toyota and one of our technicians can perform a voltage check on your battery. This voltage check can alert you to upcoming issues with your battery, as well as tell you if it needs to be serviced or replaced entirely. If you need to replace your battery, the technicians here at Steven Toyota can have a new one installed in your vehicle swiftly, and at a great price too!
Avoid breaking out the jumper cables by having your battery checked before the winter comes, it could be the difference between a smooth winter ride and being stranded in a cold vehicle. Stop by Steven Toyota Service Center today to have your battery tested, serviced, or replaced.
Check Those Tires
A good set of tires goes a long way during the cold season, as it helps keep your vehicle on the road and under control during heavy braking. Before you embark on a winter journey, make sure to check out your tires, the cold months can cause cracking in the rubber, and low tread levels can be disastrous in icy conditions. Opting for a solid set of winter tires is also a fantastic way to stay safe while driving during the cold months, as they perform better in cold weather and icy conditions.
Are you having a hard time seeing through the ice and the snow? Maybe it’s time to change out your wiper blades, so they can perform better for you this winter. There is nothing worse than trying to navigate a winter storm with streaky windshield wipers that miss large parts of your windshield. Most folks tend to overlook their windshield wipers when it comes to basic maintenance, only to scramble to replace them once winter hits and they can’t see through the blizzard.
Routinely checking your windshield wiper blades for wear and tear is a great way to catch problems before they arise. Another good way to ensure long life out of your windshield wiper blades is to lift them off the car before a winter storm comes, this will prevent the rubber from getting frozen to the windshield while the vehicle sits. Avoid using your wiper blades as a means of clearing ice from your windshield, as this can cause premature wear and tear on your wiper blades.
Keep your windshield clean and free of debris with a set of fresh wiper blades, installed by the professionals here at Steven Toyota.
Top Off Your Fluids
Keeping up with your fluid levels is always important when you own a vehicle, doubly so for those that live in places with harsh winter months. A car that lacks the proper levels of fluids will struggle to perform at its peak, making daily driving a hassle and potentially even dangerous. Some fluids to keep an eye on are:
- Coolant (Anti-Freeze): This fluid not only keeps your engine running at optimal temperatures, but it also helps keep fluids in the vehicle from freezing during the winter as well. Coolant goes in your coolant reservoir and runs throughout the engine to provide cooling, but it also can be added to your washer fluid to prevent those lines from freezing as well. Coolant is one of the most important fluids to monitor in your vehicle.
- Engine Oil: It may seem obvious, but having the proper level of oil in your vehicle is extremely important in keeping your engine and car running. Engine oil lubricates the necessary parts of the engine so it can run smoothly, as metal on metal doesn’t bode well for the life of your engine. Engine oil behaves differently in extremely cold temperatures, therefore you may need to use a special blend during the winter months. If you need help determining which engine oil is right for your vehicle, speak with one of our service technicians here at Steven Toyota today!
- Washer Fluid: Although washer fluid may not be the first fluid on your mind when it comes to maintaining your vehicle, it is an important one to remember during the winter. With most cities that get snow using a salt or brine mixture to keep roads clear, your windshield gets dirty quite quickly during the winter, and that’s why it’s important to keep your washer fluid full. One good snowstorm can see you running your washer fluid tank dry, so always keep an extra bottle on hand during the winter months to avoid disaster.
Ensure you have a safe and easy winter, make an appointment today to get your winter car servicing performed here at Steven Toyota.
Test Your Climate Control
Testing your climate control systems before the winter hits is an absolute must if you want to survive the winter comfortably. Before you start driving this winter, make sure to check the defroster and heating functions of your climate control system, as you most likely haven’t used them since last winter. Check your climate control in just a few seconds, simply run your defroster and heat at each fan speed and temperature available. This simple action will tell you if you have any climate control issues so you can have them fixed just in time for winter.
If your climate control system needs servicing, our service professionals here at Steven Toyota can help! Located in Harrisonburg, VA, Steven Toyota’s Service Center is the best place to have your pre-winter vehicle inspection performed.
It sounds cliche, but being prepared for the worst-case scenario is actually the best thing you can do. When it comes to being prepared for winter driving, the above tips are always great to follow but its also important to go a step further and have an emergency scenario bag packed and available in your vehicle.
Keep a bag full of spare clothes, including winter clothes in your vehicle. Inside of this bag should not only be clothing, but a blanket, a first aid kit, a flashlight, jumper cables, a cellphone charger, and some snacks. You can feel free to add more to this bag, but this is the bare minimum we recommend keeping in each one of your vehicles.
Imagine traveling down a back-country road in the winter, when suddenly you lose traction and skid off the road. Luckily nobody is hurt, but your car is disabled and needs to be towed out of the ditch on the side of the road. Waiting for that tow truck in below-freezing temperatures in a car with no heat is not ideal, however, it’s much easier when you have a winter emergency bag in your vehicle.
From a fluid top-off to new tires, and everything in-between, Steven Toyota is the place to have your annual winter vehicle servicing performed. Here at Steven Toyota, our highly trained service professionals are dedicated to making sure your vehicle is safe and ready to tackle any adventure you throw at it. Ensure you have safety and peace of mind each time you hit the road this winter, have your vehicle winterized by the service professionals here at Steven Toyota today!