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Get Your Car Ready for Winter
Driving in winter conditions tests your car to the limit.If something isn't working properly under the bestconditions it certainly isn't going to work when it's coldand stormy. Here are some tips to keep your car runningwell in the winter.
The first thing to check before the weather gets cold is theanti freeze level. Not only how much fluid is in theradiator, but also the ratio of antifreeze/water content.Have a tune up done. Have your spark plugs cleaned and re-gapped or replaced.
Change to a lighter oil which will help protect your enginefrom excessive wear when starting a cold car. Heavier oiltakes longer to circulate into the motor and internal damagecan occur.
Change to winter wiper blades are a must for icy driving.
Whenever starting your car, make sure that there is nothingobstructing the tailpipe. Never warm up your car in a closedgarage. If your car gets stuck out on the road run theheater every 10 minutes but never fall asleep with the carrunning.
Have the battery serviced and load-tested. Replace thebattery if it's over 4 years old.
Check the lights, heater and defroster.
Inspect the belts and hoses to be sure they are free fromfrays, cracks, leaks or rotted rubber. Make sure thatradiator hose clamps are tight to prevent leaks at theconnections.
Because of winter's lower temperatures, the air pressure in tires will drop. Check tires after driving shortdistance to warm them up for an accurate reading. Addingair to cold tires can result in overinflated tires when theywarm up.
Place sandbags in the trunk over the rear axle for bettertraction in rear wheel vehicles.
An winter emergency kit for the trunk should include:blanket, hats, boots, gloves, change of clothing, icescraper, small snow shovel, flashlight, batteries, kittylitter for traction, jumper cables, a tool kit, tire chains,a properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench and tripod-typejack.
Additional items for the trunk include: A Help sign to putin your window, brightly-colored cloth, a compass, first aidkit, wooden matches in a waterproof container, scissors,string, and canned food along with a can opener.
Always carry a cell phone or small change or a calling cardfor a payphone.
Lastly keep the gas tank as full as possible.
For more on how to protect your car in the winter visit: http://www.apluswriting.net/gasmiles/5starshine.htm
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