Don't Get Left Out In The Cold
They’re here! The holidays, that is. For many of us that means a long list full of holiday-related errands, transporting family and friends, maybe even road trips to visit loved ones. Winter weather impacts automobile performance differently than warmer months and special maintenance is often needed to ensure safety and prevent weather-related problems.
Whether your plans include out of town travel or driving in and around Portland to take in the sights and sounds of the season, your friends at Sherwood Auto Repair want to be sure you get there safely. As you prepare for the upcoming festivities, take a look at these Six Things Your Car Needs to be sure you’ve crossed all the important “to-do’s” off your list.
Let's break it down
1. Belts & Hoses - Did you know belt or hose failure is the #1 cause of breakdowns? Belts and hoses have a finite life. Changes in temperatures are hard on rubber parts because they expand and contract. The difference in the winter is this: when a belt brakes during the summer, you may have to wait in the sun or seek out a bit of shade on the side of the road while help is on its way, but when it’s freezing outside, that wait can be much more unpleasant. Be sure you’ve had belts and hoses inspected regularly. Sherwood Auto Repair technicians can tell if they’re safe for the season or if they need to be changed.
It’s all in the mix
2. Windshield Wiper Solvent - When you’re driving in freezing temperatures, have you ever tried to spray wiper fluid to help clear your windshield, but nothing happens? If your fluid doesn’t have the proper ratio of ingredients, it can freeze. Wiper fluid can actually help de-ice your windshield, but it has to have the right solvent mix to work in those conditions. You may start out driving in rain, but if the rain turns to snow you’ll be glad you got the right mix.
Keep your cool
3. Cooling Systems - Why is preventative car care so important? Because it can help prevent problems before they happen. This may seem obvious but we see cooling system problems all the time that could have been avoided if properly maintained. When we service your cooling system, we test for freeze protection and acidity/ph levels. If something is off, we flush the system and add conditioner to the coolant to help fortify its protection. If your system becomes too acidic it will create corrosion, causing parts to wear out more quickly, and leaks that could otherwise have been prevented.
We can see the future
4. Batteries - When it comes to car batteries, most people run them until they die, but that’s no longer necessary. No need to wait for signs of battery problem like a slow cranking engine first thing in the morning. Technology has improved and with our newer equipment we can perform a battery test that can predict the life expectancy of the battery.
Where the rubber hits the road
5. Tires - Most people are aware that as the temperature dips tire pressure changes. Before the coldest days arrive, be sure you get your tires checked. Tires may need pressure adjustments or rotation to be sure they’re winter-ready.
Check your calendar
6. Oil Change / Regular Maintenance - We want you to enjoy the holidays and not spend any of it stuck in the cold on the side of the road. We encourage you to add a maintenance reminder to your calendar so you’re sure to make your regular service appointments.
Bonus Thing - Your car doesn’t need it, but you might
We talked about this before but it’s worth the reminder - check and restock your car emergency kit. Why? Because emergencies are generally unplanned. Don’t already have a kit in your car? Make one for yourself, for peace of mind. And if you’re crafty, a nice car emergency kit makes a great gift! Include items like jumper cables, a flashlight with extra batteries, water, a blanket, an extra pair of shoes, and a few snack bars.
Are you due for service? Schedule an appointment and let Sherwood Auto Repair provide you with the technical expertise you need, and the honest communication you deserve.