A woman stranded on the side of the road with car problems in the dead of winter

Fall Car Care Month: Brace Yourself For The Winter

Because October is Car Care Month, it’s the perfect time to make sure that your vehicle is ready for the cooler weather. As your local car repair experts in Minooka, IL, Wyman Automotive knows that seasonal car care is a must — let us guide you through the various steps that we taket to help you maintain a well-performing vehicle throughout the fall and winter months.

Battery, Belts and Hoses

Colder weather taxes the battery more than warmer temperatures, therefore making it more difficult for an already-weak battery to work. At Wyman we help you get ahead of these issues by testing your car battery regularly and replacing it if necessary. We check your battery cables and terminals to eliminate any corrosion and ensure that the connections are tight. 

Checking the underside of the accessory drive belts for frays, cracks and irregularities is a necessity. Newer multi-rib serpentine belts don’t show wear as easily and should be replaced every 60,000 miles. Additionally,  we check cooling system hoses for leaks, cracks or loose clamps. Squeeze them to make sure that the hose isn’t too brittle or spongey. 

Tires 

Drivers can winterize their vehicles by installing snow tires on all four wheels. Otherwise, regular tires will perform adequately in light-to-moderate snow conditions, assuming that they have the right amount of tread left on them. If your tires have less than 3/32 inches of tread, it’s time to replace them. At Wyman we will survey the tires’ tread for an indication of underlying suspension, alignment or balance issues. 

Air Filter and Coolant Levels 

To check the efficiency of your engine air filter we simply hold it up in front of a light source. If most of the light can be seen through the filter, then it does not need to be replaced. Conversely, if the filter obscures most of the light, it’s best to replace it. 

When your vehicle’s engine is cold, it is important to check the coolant levels in your overflow tank. If levels are low, we’ll add in a 50/50 solution of water and coolant (this mixture guarantees that it will not freeze). You’ll want to keep an eye on the antifreeze protection level each year using a tester from any automotive repair store. 

Lights and Wipers 

We always ensure that your vehicle’s headlights, taillights, turn signals, brake lights, back-up lights and emergency flashers are working. If not replacing any bulbs that are burnt out, blinking or weak will take place. 

At Wyman Automotive, we believe that windshield wipers should be large enough to wipe the entire glass clean when in use. Drivers in areas with high levels of snow and other winter precipitation like Minooka, might consider winter wiper blades, which have rubber boots that prevent ice and snow from building up on the blades. Filling up the windshield washer fluid reservoir with a winter cleaning solution including antifreeze components is a smart way to drive in the freezing temperatures . 

Brakes and Various Fluids

If you have any suspicions about your brakes, we recommend always having a certified mechanic like one of our own take a look and perform any necessary or suggested repairs.

Next step on the list is checking transmission, brake and power steering fluid levels are at the recommended amounts. 

Emergency Road Kit 

Last but not least, an emergency road kit can prove extremely useful in times of unexpected car trouble or crisis. It might contain: 

  • Basic toolkit 
  • Jumper cables
  • Blankets and warm clothing 
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight and extra batteries 
  • Drinking water and non-perishable snacks 
  • Roll of paper towels/cloth
  • Snow shovel, ice scraper with brush
  • Mobile phone with rescue apps and family/emergency phone numbers, car charger
  • Flares/reflective triangles to be seen at night 

While many of these maintenance checks can be done quickly at home, others should be completed by a certified mechanic or technician. The experienced professionals at Wyman Automotive can offer a helping hand to help you winterize car, truck or SUV — or for any automotive repair issue that you are facing. For excellent service with a smile, simply give us a call at (815) 255- 5110 or email us via our contact form today.

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