The change to cold Kansas City weather is never welcomed, but it is inevitable. As winter rushes in, we all need a little push to get ourselves prepared. Sometimes a simple reminder to get your car ready for the icy season can be more helpful than we realize. So, here’s your annual reminder to get your end-of-year car maintenance done. Check out these tips to ensure you’re taking care of your vehicle before that first snowfall. (You’ll thank us later.)
Essential Car Care
Checking and changing your oil is important during any season, but it’s especially important during the winter. Changing your oil before January can help prevent damage to your motor and improve your fuel performance—and who wants to bring their car into the dealership service center when there’s snow on the ground?
Many people believe you should change your oil every 3,000 miles; but for most newer vehicles, like Chevrolet’s, you’re better checking your owner’s manual for your vehicle’s specific interval periods. Do you have the right oil viscosity, like 5W-20? Are you using synthetic or conventional motor oil? Make a visit to your car mechanic or service technician to get with the program.
From worn tread to misalignments, your vehicle’s tires should be prepared to handle anything this chilly weather throws at you. Most cars post-2007 are equipped with tire pressure monitoring systems, but automakers like Hyundai advise that cars can lose 1 or2 PSI – pounds per square inch – per cold month. You should routinely watch out for low tire pressure and take the time to keep them properly inflated, as a deflated car tire can cause a whole slew of problems, including further misalignment, tire tread wear and even flats.
Buick even recommends replacing your regular tires with snow or winter tires for the colder season. These tires are specifically designed for increased traction on snow and ice but could change handling and braking on dry roads. It’s best to ask a professional service or auto repair technician for advice.
Brake pads can become dangerous and deadly quickly if they’re not replaced on time. Before the new year, it’s important to have your vehicle’s entire brake system checked out before the weather makes a turn for the cold. You never know when you might run into a moment where you need brakes to stop on a slick surface. Kansas City can be crazy like that.
Maintenance in Your Vehicle
Pack Well with Accessories
Making sure you have the essentials packed in your vehicle is just as important as performing vehicle maintenance. This list of items can be crucial in keeping you safe during the winter—we consider it to be material maintenance. View our recommended items to install in your roadside kit.
Ice Scrapers & Frost Guard
The use of Frost Guard or an ice scraper can come in handy during early mornings or nights when your windshield is frozen over. An ice or snow scraper can remove ice without damaging your windshield, and Frost Guard spray can prevent you from having to scrape your arms off in the mornings.
Subaru even makes scrapers for their vehicles, so make sure to buy and keep one in your car this winter.
Shovels, survival kits, and more
Keeping a personal survival kit in your vehicle can be valuable for those unfortunate moments. Your kit can include a mix of food and other items. Your packable shovel will help you dig out of snow, while an external battery may enable you to jump-start your vehicle. It may also be important to keep items like cat litter, extra clothes, and blankets, along with an unfilled gas can in your vehicle (just in case you need to walk to the pumps).
No matter the situation you run into, make sure you schedule a service appointment with the closest McCarthy Auto Group dealership before winter. Our team will perform all necessary maintenance to get your vehicle up to code, so to speak. Contact one of our Kansas City-area dealers for more details or to ask about any winter car service coupons.