The vehicle will need to have a reliable battery in order for it to start. You will also need to make sure that the alternator and starter are also in the best condition possible for your vehicle. If you are not sure if they at the top performance level, bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it. Doing so will help to keep it efficient and at top performance levels. When the battery is not working, you will also want to have the alternator and starter properly inspected as well. Sometimes a faulty alternator or starter will also result in the vehicle not starting. Since all three will have to work in coordination with one another, they will all need to be working.
You will want to notice any signs or issues that the vehicle is showing signs of starter issues. The first thing to be aware of is if the vehicle is slow to start. Usually there will be an indication when you notice the vehicle starting to turn over slowly. Slow starts are the first sign that the vehicle will need to have an inspection done. The more often this occurs, the quicker that the vehicle will fail completely. When this becomes more common, you will notice that the vehicle may start to just click when you start it.
If you decide to not drive your vehicle for a few weeks or months, make sure to disconnect the battery and remove the battery. Doing so can help prevent the battery from draining and having a dead car when you go to start it. You will want to have a reliable vehicle when you need to get to and from your destination. If you notice that your vehicle needs to be jump-started, schedule an appointment with us. We can inspect the starter, alternator, and battery.
Keeping your vehicle working in the best condition should always be a priority. If you are not sure what tasks should be done, contact us. We can also recommend a maintenance schedule for the various tasks of your vehicle. When the vehicle is brought in, we can give it a bumper-to-bumper inspection. Doing so will help to be aware of any issues that your vehicle might have. When there is a problem with the vehicle, it is always best to have it taken care of as soon as possible. This will help to prevent further damage or issues with other parts or the car. Ignoring an issue and choosing not to have it fixed right away can also lead to an increased repair bill.
Besides maintenance, make sure that you drive carefully as well. Slamming on the brakes or having jackrabbit starts can do damage to parts and components of the vehicle. This will cause the brakes to wear out sooner than they otherwise should. Instead of slamming the brakes, try to anticipate any upcoming stop lights or stop signs on the road. If traffic is heavy, leave enough room where you will not have to slam on the brakes. Following too close can increase the chance of rear ending the vehicle in front of you. It also increases the chance that the car behind you might hit you as well.
Drive at the Posted Speed
Also make sure that you drive at what the posted speed is, or lower. Going too fast can result in a ticket by the cops. It also increases the chance if you loose control, of going in the ditch or rolling your vehicle. When the weather is less than ideal, you will want to slow down on the road. Only drive at a speed that you are comfortable at. If the roads are slick, slow down and drive with caution.
By following regular maintenance schedules for your vehicle, you can help it to stay as efficient as possible when you drive. In the winter, you will need to check the tires more regularly than you do the rest of the year. The cold temperatures can cause air to reduce in the tires. When you check the air pressure, make sure you do it before you drive. Otherwise wait a couple hours after driving. By driving then checking the tires, the tires warm up. This will then result in a false reading when you check them. If a tire goes low often, bring the vehicle in. Sometimes it is not the rubber of the tire, but rather the valve stem or rims. We can inspect the whole tire to see what the issue might be.
You will also want to remember to slow down on the roads. As the temperature and weather change, so will the condition of the roads. Sometimes there might be black ice. This is mostly found on bridges or overpasses. You will not know you are on the ice until it is too late. If the weather is around freezing, and there has been precipitation, always remember to slow down.
Scrape the Windows
The vehicle can also benefit by starting it a few minutes before you drive. You will need to scrape off all the windows and windshield before you drive. This is important because it allows you proper visibility. When doing so, start the vehicle as well. This will help warm up the windshield faster, and make it easier to scrape. Another benefit is that your vehicle will be warm inside after you are done scraping windows. If the defrost is not working for your vehicle, schedule and appointment so you can bring the vehicle in for an inspection.
When you are getting ready for a winter road trip, there are several things to keep in mind. First you will want to make sure your vehicle has been in for regular maintenance. This will help ensure that everything is working properly for it. If you are not sure how often to bring it in, contact us. When you follow the schedule, the parts and components will work as you need them to. If you hear anything out of the norm, make sure you bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for you.
Oil is Important
Check the oil and fluid levels. You do not want the vehicle to be low on any of them. If the oil is low, then the engine may seize up. This will result in expensive and extensive repairs for it. If the oil is low, often, there could be a leak in the system. You will also want to make sure that the oil is the proper color. If it is too light or too dark, there can be an issue with it.
Remember to check the air pressure in your tires. This can be easy to forget until there is an issue. In the winter the tires can lose air often. Sometimes a bead leak, stem valve leak, or even an issue with the rims can cause problems with air pressure. If you encounter this, make sure you schedule an appointment with us and we can inspect the tires. If there is an issue, we can recommend a course of action to take. The tread wear can also be inspected. Sometimes it may be best to have a tire rotation or tire alignment done for your vehicle. Having good tires will also help your safety on the roads this winter.
The tires of your vehicle should never be ignored, especially in the winter. If you are not sure what to look for, bring the vehicle in. Also, if you notice any issues with them, contact us. Notice anything that might be out of the norm. If the vehicle pulls in one direction or the other, it could be from the tires. If the tires are not balanced, you may notice an unbalanced wobble to the vehicle. Follow regular maintenance for your vehicle as well.
One of the first things to check is the tread wear for the tires. If it is low and worn, then the tire will not have the best grip on the road. You can easily check the tread of the tires by placing a penny upside down in the groove. If you see the top of Lincoln’s head, then the tread is too low. With low tread the tires will slide and not have proper handling of the road. If the tread is wearing unevenly on the tire or from one tire to another, bring it in. Having the tires rotated or aligned can help keep the tread in the best condition.
You should also check the air pressure for all the tires. Driving the tires with air that is too low or too inflated can lead to issues. In the winter, the colder temperatures result in air being lost more often from the tires of the vehicle. When it becomes continuous, there can be a much larger issue. By bringing the vehicle in, we will check the tire, valve stem, and rim. Each tire should be inspected for any issues. Also check the spare tire of the vehicle. If one of the regular tires blows, then you will have to rely on the spare tire to get you to a safe place.