Winter means warm drinks, holiday movies, crisp walks, and early sunsets. And, then, it can also contribute to some road hazards like slippery conditions, dark commutes, frosted-over windows, and salt on the car. But have no fear! Winter doesn’t have to be scary. Drive smart when it’s safe and be proactive by following these four simple tips from European Collision Repair to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your luxury vehicle before you hit the road. After all, the best auto body repair is the one you don’t have to get.
#1 Be Smart About Your Tires
Tires have a huge impact on the handling of a vehicle. Having too little tread or too low air pressure can mean less traction or control when turning or stopping. Check the condition of your tires. If the tread is questionable or the tires aren’t all-weather or winter tires, consider changing them for the winter. And keep an eye on the air pressure. Air pressure contracts in the winter, which means you could have less air PSI and flatter tires… even without a leak.
#2 Check the Battery
Is there anything more frustrating than a car that won’t start on a dark, cold morning when you’re already running late? And is there a better sound than the engine turning over when you just knew it wouldn’t? To stay on the happy side of this situation, make sure your battery is in good shape. If it’s more than 5 years old, just go ahead and replace it. You can check the battery status yourself or take it to an auto parts store, where they can test it for free. It’s much better to be proactive and not be cold or stranded than to be reactive after the battery dies.
#3 Fluid Levels are Critical
One of the most important keys to protecting your luxury vehicle during the winter months is maintaining two key fluid levels. First, keep at least half a tank of gas in your car at all times. Yes, you’ll be buying gas more frequently. But it may prevent accumulated water from freezing in your fuel pump. And, just as importantly, you’ll be able to run the engine longer and stay warm should you become stranded. The second fluid level to maintain is a full reservoir of washer fluid. Be sure to use a solution that includes an anti-freeze component so it doesn’t freeze on contact. This will help you see clearly, even as salt, sand and other winter debris is stirred up.
#4 Visibility is Key
If you can see where you’re going, you have a better chance at staying safe. Three keys to maintaining optimal winter visibility are lights, wipers, defrosting.
- Lights. Check your headlights, brake lights and turn signals. If they aren’t properly working, get them repaired right away. Not only could you spare yourself a traffic ticket, you’ll improve your own ability to see and the visibility of yourself to other vehicles around you. If the light isn’t bright, upgrade the bulbs or use a specially formulated cleaner to make sure the covers aren’t cloudy.
- Wipers. Wiper blades should be replaced about twice a year, and now is as good a time as any. Having new and clean wiper blades goes a long way in seeing out. (And please don’t use your wiper to scrape ice… you’ll just wear it out faster.) Lift wipers off the windshield if you expect a snow or ice event.
- Defrost. Make sure defrost works on your vehicle, preferably before it starts frosting over frequently. Using the air conditioning can also keep the windshield from fogging up.
Following these simple ideas are a few proactive ways to protect your luxury vehicle, your family and yourself this winter. All that said, if you do need body work performed on your vehicle, European Collision Repair is certified and trained to repair and restore your vehicle to maintain its safety and beauty. Call to schedule an appointment or use our online or phone feature to start your free estimate now.