The Christmas season is a busy time for most people. Families drive out on long road trips to spend precious time with loved ones, for example. These trips can quickly add to the wear and tear of your car, however. This holiday season, minimize (if not completely avoid) the instances of unexpected breakdowns and ensure a smooth, stress-free journey with these suggestions.
Check the Oil
Look at your vehicle and determine if it’s due for an oil change. Pickering’s Auto Service says that an oil change every 3,000 to 5,000 miles significantly lowers the possibility of breakdowns that lead to costly repairs, increases gas mileage, and keeps warranties valid.
In addition to an oil change, monitor the oil’s temperature. Motor oil thickens in cold weather and makes it difficult for your engine to start. To avoid this scenario, use multi-viscosity oil that has a “W” (for winter) in the viscosity index. Typical formulas best suited for modern engines are 10W-30, 5W-30, and 5W-20. They all offer good oil flow at colder temperatures and are usable year-round.
Keep the Battery in Good Shape
When mercury plummets, your vehicle’s battery takes a beating as cold temperatures decrease its cranking power. To inspect a conventional battery, check the fluid level by taking off the plastic caps on top. Add distilled water when the fluid is low.
For maintenance-free batteries, confirm if the window at the top of the battery is showing a fully charged state. If it’s showing signs of weakness and/or if it’s more than half a decade old, replace the battery with a newer, top-rated model.
Clear the Windows
A frost-covered window won’t allow you to see where you’re driving clearly, endangering you and everyone else on the road. Before heading out, scrape away frost using an ice scraper. To help prevent your windshield from fogging up, ensure that the heater is functioning properly so that you can use the warm air to defrost the windshield.
During the holiday season, things can get busy and you may be overwhelmed with all that you have to do. With these suggestions, you can avoid vehicle breakdowns and accidents that can sideline you from the important things.