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October is National Car Care Month

I’m putting on my Women’s Board Hat when I tell you that it’s National Car Care Month & time to get your vehicle ready for winter.

be car care aware

Winterizing your car is essential to getting through a Vermont winter with no problems!

Here a the 8 Steps to Getting Your Car Ready for Winter.

1. Clean your vehicle inside and out. Getting your vehicle washed and waxed helps protect the paint surfaces from snowy bombardments, and it will also make snow and ice easier to brush off. Since you will be sitting in your car with the windows up for the next six months do yourself a favor and give your car a thorough cleaning ASAP. To prevent that stale air / locker room smell, consider replacing your cabin air filter. It’s also a great idea to take out your carpeted floor mats and replace them with a set of water-resistant rubber mats.

CLEANING YOUR CAR INSIDE

2. Make sure you can see. A winter storm is the worst possible time to run out of windshield washer fluid or to discover your blades aren’t clearing the windshield properly. Wiper blades usually last for about six months. Since visibility is a key ingredient to safety, so be sure to invest in some new ones if needed. Make sure the washer fluid is good to -20 F. Never use plain water. It will freeze all over your windshield.

2 types of blades

3. Ensure that your heating system is functioning properly. While a functioning heater and defroster are necessary to keep the windshield nice and clear, they also offer you shelter from the cold. Trust me; you do not want to drive a cold car in the months to come. Also check that the rear window defroster is working.

icy windshield

4. Tires: Need I remind you that the tire is the only part of your automobile that touches the ground? Having good winter tires on your car is the most important thing you can do to insure the next six months of worry free winter driving. The condition of your car’s tires is critical during the winter. Braking, acceleration and handling are all impacted while driving on slippery roads. Give yourself an edge with great winter tires!

winter-tire

5. Give your battery a little TLC. A battery gives little notice before it dies, and very cold temperatures can reduce a vehicle’s battery power by up to 50 percent. PLUS you tend to load the battery in the winter having the defroster / lights / radio / phone or ipod all on at the same time. If your vehicle battery is older than three years, have the battery tested when you take your car in to get your winter tires put on.

jumper cables on batter - shutter

6. Belts and hoses. While they are testing your battery, make sure they inspect the belts and hoses for wear and tear — even if you’re driving a newer car. The belts and hoses in modern cars lead long lives, but that doesn’t mean they don’t die. Cold weather can do a number on belts and hoses, so they deserve attention too.

belt

7. Get the antifreeze mixture just right. The ideal mixture of antifreeze (coolant) and water inside your vehicle’s radiator is 50/50. Antifreeze is very important to your engine. It cools the car’s engine, protects it from freezing in the cold weather and is the key agent in providing heat inside the car that keeps your toes warm. ALSO: Have the PH of the coolant tested after three years. The coolant starts out alkaline ph and over time turns acidic which can damage to the system.

radiator cap-shutter

8. Prepare an emergency kit. Even the most meticulously maintained vehicle can get stuck in a snow bank. That’s when it pays to be prepared for an emergency with a well stocked emergency kit.

Be prepared for the next six months by winterizing your car.
This will help you avoid the aggravation of breaking down on a snowy, frigid day and save you money in the long run.
Check out the GREAT Special we are running this month that will make sure your car is ready for winter & that saves you a ton of money!