7 Tips To Help You Get Prepared For Winter

As the first frost appears on windshields, Northern Virginia residents should begin their preparations for the cold winter months, including their cars.

A properly prepared vehicle can increase the chances of safe driving during winter months. Here are some tips provided by Chris Clos and Gregg Caldwell said.

Gregg Caldwell, owner of G&C Tire and Auto Service with two locations in Northern Virginia adds some insight on these tips to prepare your car for winter.

1. Conducting the “penny test” is the easiest method of checking the tire’s treading. If you put a penny in your tread and you can see all of Abraham Lincoln’s head, it’s probably time for new tires. This test has been around for years.  You can always bring your car by a local automotive shop and heave them measure your tires with a tread depth gauge.

2. To check what your cold weather tire pressure should be, look for the requirements located on the door jam of your driver’s side door. This is important, your tire pressure is not stamped on the tire.  Many time the required pressure is different from front to back.

3. Check and fill windshield washer fluid with the winter grade fluid.  G&C Tire and Auto Service will top off your windshield washer fluid at no charge.  Just stop by one of our locations and we would be happy to do it.

As a warning, standard fluids don’t work well in lower temperatures and can cause the fluid lines and windshield nozzles to freeze and malfunction.

4. Not a “Bug Out Kit”, but every motorist should create an emergency kit to keep in their car, in the event you become stranded on the road. These items include a blanket, jumper cables, first aid kit, portable shovel and sand.  Search online for examples of this emergency kit.

5. Not so savvy when it comes to car stuff?  I would suggest taking your car to the shop could be the next step in preparations for the winter. G&C Tire and Auto Service performs a digital car inspection of every vehicle we service.  Have the mechanic check your belts and hoses for wear and leaks. Also, have the mechanic test your coolant/antifreeze fluid.

6.  Clos, recommended that you allow cars to warm up before driving. This will allow your fluids to cycle properly and your engine oil to warm up. Gregg suggested to alway listen to your car when starting for any unusual sounds that could indicate a possible problem beginning to start.  A good example is a belt starting to make noise or a battery not cranking over the engine like it used to.

7. Also, properly defrost your windshield. Not allowing them to defrost can cause your wiper arm or motor to malfunction. The replacement of wiper motors are the most common repair we encounters at the shop during a heavy snow or ice accumulation.  The replacement of the motor alone can cost hundreds of dollars.

Have a question? Call us at the shop in Manassas 703-365-9072 or Chantilly 703-263-2474.