We’ve officially had our first snowfall of the season which means winter is here in Reno. It’s important that you do some winter maintenance on your vehicle before it’s too late. And keep in mind that the colder it is outside, the worse your existing car problems will get. So, stay on top of your vehicle’s functionality with these tips that will help prepare your car for the winter. 

Check Your Car’s Tires

One of the most important things to check on your vehicle before winter comes to a head is the tread on your tires. Tire tread gives your tire better traction on wet and cold surfaces which is extremely important for your safety in the winter. If the tread falls below 1/16 of an inch, then you’re in need of new tires. Luckily, there are tools you can buy to test your tires’ tread, or you can use the popular penny test. To do this, you’ll place the penny with Abe’s head facing you, and upside down. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, then your tread depth is too low which indicates that you need new tires. Also, consider using snow tires vs. all-weather tires. Snow tires are designed to better handle cold weather and wet roads, making them best suited for harsh winter driving conditions. 

Replace Dirty Filters

Replacing your car’s old filters will help ensure that your engine runs more smoothly. The filters that should be replaced are the air filter, fuel filter, and oil filter (following an oil change). Dirty filters can also cause your vehicle to run less efficiently, burn more gasoline, and lead to the failure of other components within your car. 

Check Your Car’s Battery

Without a properly working battery, you wouldn’t be able to start your car. Its main purpose is to send an electrical current through the vehicle and to feed the starter to turn the engine on. And unfortunately, a car battery has a more difficult time operating in colder weather. This means that while a weak battery will still function in the summer, it could die in the winter and need to be replaced. In order to check the battery, take your vehicle to a licensed mechanic and ask that they do a voltage test on it.

Check Your Car’s Lights

Another key factor that will help you prepare your car for the winter is to check all of the exterior lights. The light’s on your car are there to help you see, and to help other drivers see you. They’re essential for your safety, especially when the winter weather makes visibility more difficult. Be sure to check that your vehicle’s headlights, tail lights, brake lights, hazard lights, and signal lights are all in working condition and aren’t burnt out.

Check Your Car’s Heating System

It’s no surprise that it gets quite cold in Reno during the winter, which means you need to check your car’s heating system. This is essential when you prepare your car for the winter not only for comfort but also for safety. For instance, the defrosting system is used to prevent the windows from fogging up and melts ice that may have formed on the windshield. Both of these situations can block your visibility and make seeing out of your windows very difficult. 

Replace Old Wiper Blades

Similarly to how your car’s heating system is meant to help you see out of your car’s windows, wiper blades are also essential to your visibility. Old wiper blades will start to crack and break, making them inoperative and leaving you in a dangerous situation in wet weather. When debris, water, or snow collect on your windshield you are at a greater risk for having an accident, so be sure to replace your old or broken windshield wiper blades. 

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Check Your Car’s Transmission at General Transmission

Lastly, be sure to get your car’s transmission checked by a professional transmission technician. Your vehicle’s transmission is a huge part of your car’s functionality and driveability. Letting transmission problems go untreated can lead to costly repairs and even transmission failure. Bring your car to General Transmission for regular maintenance check-ups and ensure that your car is fully prepared for the winter season. 

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