It’s that time of year again— time for winter service! The cold is here, storms are coming, and your car needs a tune-up before the snow piles up. Here are a few things to make sure your mechanic checks when you go in for your next service appointment:
Antifreeze and Radiator
When you come in for winter service, our mechanics will make your antifreeze is topped off and ready to go with the proper seasonal mix.
You should also check that your cooling system is flushed every few years as, over time, the rust inhibitors in antifreeze can break down and make the fluid less effective. Flushing will also remove particles that could clog the system.
Windshield Wipers and Fluid
Your car’s wiper blades should completely clear the glass each time they swipe. Icy build up on the glass can create tears that prevent a clean sweep of the glass, making it hard to see in treacherous conditions. You should always replace streaky blades and, if you live in an area with particularly snowy conditions, you can install special winter wiper blades with rubber “boots” that prevent ice and snow buildup and allow for better contact between the rubber and glass.
Putting a winter-specific “no-freeze” windshield wiper fluid mix into your fluid reservoir will also help to prevent the fluid from freezing and remove snow and ice from your windshield.
Heater and Defroster
Not only does your HVAC system keep you warm while driving, but it also clears your windows and windshield of fog and ice build-up. Most experts recommend having your cooling system inspected with each oil change so that any issues can be repaired while they’re still small. Having the coolant in your engine flushed regularly and refilled with the clean coolant mix is also a crucial part of preventative maintenance.
When you come in for winter service, you should also have your mechanic look for and repair any leaks that occur in your cooling system before they become a costly issue.
Tires are an often overlooked contributor to car performance but they have a big impact on vehicle health and safety, especially in the icy winter months. Poor tires can be a huge hazard when driving on snowy or slick roads— as the only point of contact between the road and your car, tires influence turn control, ability to break, even how smooth your ride is, and can send you spinning if they don’t have enough traction. That’s why you should always replace worn tires as soon as possible.
If you’re not sure how to check your tire’s condition, ask your mechanic. For a more in-depth look at tire safety, you can read our article on tire safety tips.
While this is a fairly comprehensive list is below of what to check, cold weather makes a few of these even more important. In addition to getting winter service, you should also make sure you have a winter emergency kit in your car at all times and keep the gas tank as close to full as possible before any storms or long drives.
At V&F, we strive to provide our customers with a well-rounded knowledge of all things automotive. Since 1988, our family-owned and operated service center has been providing top-quality auto repair services to Agawam, Feeding Hills, Southwick, West Springfield, and the surrounding Massachusetts communities. If your car needs maintenance or repair before this winter season, call us at (413)314-2280 or schedule an appointment online.