As the seasons change, it’s good to have a reminder of some things that we already know. So here we go.
As the days get shorter, our lights become more important. Make sure that they are all working, that your headlight aim is correct, and that your headlights have not become cloudy or discolored. A few dollars spent now can prevent a collision later.
Check your wiper and washer system. Make sure the washer fluid you put in is intended for winter use and that your wiper blades aren’t worn and streaking the windshield. For some reason, modern wiper blades don’t seem to last as long as they used too.
Take a close look at your windshield. Even if it has no chips, it could be heavily pitted or wiper streaked. If it is, driving into a sunset or sunrise will make it difficult to see. Windshields are cheap, usually $230 to $260. installed and well worth the benefit in safety.
Firestone tires had an ad campaign years ago in which a race car driver said he “trusted his life to his Firestone tires.” The truth is, we all trust our lives to our tires. Take a good look at yours and consider having dedicated winter tires, studded or studless. They will pay off in the long run.
If you don’t have your mechanic completely inspect your car before the onset of cold weather, at least have the battery tested and the terminals cleaned. A battery that will start your car fine at 50 degrees can turn into a useless lump at zero.
Doing the things I have mentioned here doesn’t guarantee that you will have no problems over the winter, but it sure reduces the chance and will make you safer.