Get Your Car Ready For Winter

JONESBORO - The cold temperatures and harsh winter driving conditions can be rough on your automobile.

Plus with Christmas traveling just around the corner, now is the time to get your car ready for winter.

With the official start of winter only a few days away it was time to get my trusty news car winterized.

I scooted over to Smiths Tire and Auto and had Terry Cook one of their mechanics walk me through the process.

First up, battery, cables and tools to clean off the corrosion.

Cook, "You want to make sure their aint no corrosion on there, make sure they aint loose, if they do have corrosion take your cables off, after you pull your wires off, twist this on the post, back and forth and it'll take the corrosion right off there. Then you can replace your wires back on there."

Antifreeze is always an issue, Cook says after the engine cools you can check out it's condition.

"You can open it, and you can get these little antifreeze checkers at your auto parts store. You stick it down in there and squeeze it, pull it back up, they'll come with a guage that way you can regulate how much antifreeze is in your car. Liks this one seems pretty good cause all the bubbles are floating. "

As he refilled the window washing fluid I asked him about changing out the radiator fluid, he recommends at least once a year, and having it done by a professional.

Cook, "I'd probably recommend it to a shop, cause anti-freeze can be dangerous to animals, and if some is laying around, pets or even humans, or kids get ahold of it, it can be very deadly."

Cook says to take a close look at your hoses and belts looking for cracks and soft spots. Then we raised the car up for an oil change.

Cook says to keep to the three thousand mile mark for oil changes and tire rotation.

Do you really need to change the type of oil you use in your car during the winter time? Is there any difference?

Cook, "Not really you can use basically the same thing you were using in the summertime."

While your car is up on rack, have your mechanic look for rust spots, exhaust problems and examine your brake cables.

Cook says, "Make sure there aren't any cracks in them, no leak spots, no wet spots in em. Because they can be very dangerous if you have a leak in your brake lines."

To help get better mileage make sure your tires are inflated to the right pressure and check for bad spots.

The oil refilled, the shop work done, one more important step.

With wintertime driving you're faced with a lot of crud on the road, you get the sleet, sand mixture, dirt rain, what ever, so an important part of winter maintenence is take your car out and get a really good wash and wax job done on it.

I did take time to vacuum it out, if you can afford it I recommend changing the floor mats out to rubberized ones for the season, keeps your carpet cleaner and in case you need to kneel in the snow or slush, keeps you dry.

There's just a couple more things you want to take a look at this winter driving season, make sure your windshield wipers aren't cracked or broken, make sure they clean the windshield off really good. Make sure your turn signals work and those all important headlights, you can be safe this holiday season with just a few minutes of preparation.

Besides getting your car winterized, clink on the links to see some  tips on how to save gas this holiday season.