Fall is officially here, which means that winter — and the inclement weather that comes with it — is right around the corner. One of the most important things you can do before the roads get slick is to make sure your car is safe to drive. Now is the time to take it in to an auto repair shop if it needs work, beforethe weather has a chance to get bad. Here are three things you need to check to make sure that your car is well equipped for winter driving.
An essential part of your car to check for safety purposes is the brakes. It’ll be hard enough stopping and avoiding sliding on wet roads without having unmaintained brakes that may not work well or fail altogether. This means that your brake pads, discs, and lines all need to be in good working order. Brake pads typically have a lifespan of between 30,000 and 70,000 miles; however, they should always be replaced if they get to be less than an eighth of an inch thick. Brake discs should look shiny and the thin grooves should be shallow. Brake lines are coated with rubber, which should not be worn or cracked. Since brake work can be complicated, you probably want to leave this one up to professional car repair services.
Having well maintained brakes will help you stay safe on the road by allowing you to actually stop effectively, but the vehicle will slide on slick roads regardless of brake care if the tires are not in good shape. Unless you live in a higher elevation or in an area that experiences a lot of snow, you don’t have to break the bank on your new tires. A quality new set should do you just fine. If the treads on your tires are worn, they probably need to be replaced. Auto repair shops typically have a range of different tires to choose from, so you’ll be able to find one in your price range.
Lights and wipers
Visibility is essential for safe driving, and your windshield wipers and lights are designed specifically for that purpose. If they aren’t in good shape, they can’t do their job and it means that you’re not driving safely. Windshield wipers are inexpensive enough to just buy a new pair (don’t forget the rear wiper if you have one) and swap them out yourself. Since daylight hours are significantly shorter in the wintertime, making sure that all of your lights work and are bright enough is important (this might also be a job for a car repair shop if you don’t know what you’re doing).
If you’re unsure of how to check any of these things or have any car repair questions, you should swing by one of your local auto repair shops before the weather really hits and have them check it out for you. Not only will they be able to tell what needs to be fixed, but they’ll be able to perform any car repair services you need and make sure that your vehicle is as safe as possible for winter driving.