Is Your Vehicle Ready for Winter?
8 Steps to Winter Preparation
Here in Montana, winter is just about upon us. It may be early October, but we have already seen a couple of nights that have dipped below freezing. That means it’s time to get our vehicles prepped for the cold weather ahead so that there aren’t any problems that come up down the road.
At Big Sky Collision Center we want to make sure that driving your vehicle is fun for you. We want to make sure that you’re getting the most enjoyment, and that means we want to make sure that you’re being safe! If you do happen to be involved in an accident, bring your car to the best auto body repair shop in Billings. And hopefully this winter you will have prevented an accident with these tips.
Change your Oil
Most tire and lube departments recommend changing your oil every 3,000 miles, or every 3 months; whichever comes first. While that’s a good rule of thumb, modern cars can actually go a little longer (5,000 miles or 6 months) with high quality oil. Regardless of whether or not you change every 3 months or 6 months, make sure you change it before the seasons change.
Have the Heater Checked
Nothing is worse that riding in a frigid vehicle. But most of the time we ignore the heater when the outside air temperature is warm. Before you need the heater, make sure it works! If it doesn’t seem to be pumping out hot air, take it in for a tune up.
Filters get clogged up. Air filters, fuel filters, oil filters, and more all need regular replacement. A good way to remember that you’re replacing filters is to swap them out on the equinoxes (first day of fall and first day of spring). While items like fuel filters can go longer, air filters are easy to change and cheap enough to not worry about it.
Test the Battery
Drive to any batter shop or lube shop and they will generally test your battery for free. Starting a vehicle in the warm weather doesn’t take as much energy from a battery as starting in the winter does. So while there may not be problems over the summer, you may run into problems in the winter. Make sure the battery has enough life left in it before you can’t start your car.
Replace Wiper Blades
Wiper blades are cheap. Replace them in the spring and the fall to make sure you have a fresh pair on that can clear away anything Mother Nature throws at you. Don’t wait until you can’t see out the windshield, replace them right away.
Inspect Your Tires
Summer driving is easy. But as rain accumulates in the fall, and snow and ice in the winter, that driving isn’t as easy. Tires that grip pavement no problem can slip and slide on the snow and ice. Check to make sure that your tires have adequate tread on them, and adequate pressure, to ensure a safe drive.
Check the Brakes
While you are replacing fluids and checking, give the brakes the once over. It’s hard to do this on your own, so you may need to take the car to the mechanic to have it looked at. Brake pads wear out, and the fluid should be flushed on occasion. Have them inspected and replaced if needed.
Check your Winter Prep Kit
If you do slide off the road on one of Montana’s less traveled roadways, you need to stay safe. Make sure your vehicle is outfitted with a winter prep kit that includes, at the very least, an ice scraper, a blanket, and a granola bar or two.
Bring Your Wrecks to Big Sky
Driving in the winter is dangerous, we get it. And accidents do happen. While prevention and being an aware driver go a long way, there are some things you just can’t avoid. When you do dent, ding, smash, or scrape your car, bring it to Big Sky Collision Center. We have more vehicle repair certifications than anyone else around, and we can get you fixed up to factory safety standards.
Need more info? Give us a call at 406-259-6328.