As the temps begin to dip in the fall, trees in West Michigan begin to shed their leaves in preparation of winter. Car owners in Grand Rapids would be smart to also take a cue from nature and prepare our vehicles right now for the colder months ahead. It’s no secret that as the temperatures begin to plummet, the odds of engine failure skyrocket. Disappointing news for car owners, but fortunately with an ounce of prevention, you can avoid becoming a road side assistance statistic and keep your vehicle happily on the road.
As the weather turns colder, battery life shrinks. Listed as one of the top culprits for roadside assistance calls, dead batteries are not only inconvenient but can also become dangerous if they leave you stranded in frigid temps or caught in a desolate location during a storm. Check your battery beforehand to ensure its connections are clean, tight and corrosion free. We also recommend having it tested at a local parts store to see how much battery life is left and replacing batteries that are 3 years or older.
Tires are the only point of contact between your vehicle and the road, making their job especially critical. Under-inflated tires, tires with worn treads can reduce your traction and undermine the control you have over your vehicle. It’s important to remember that as the temperature dives down, so does your tire pressure. We recommend checking your tire pressure when it’s cold out to get a more accurate reading and considering getting snow tires if you live in an area like Grand Rapids that receives a lot of snow or ice.
Whether you’ll be driving through rain, snow, sleet or hail, clear visibility is the biggest concern! Replace wiper blades that are torn, cracked or are no longer functioning properly. For newer blades, clean them by wiping a rag with rubbing alcohol on it to make sure they remain streak free and your line of sight unimpeded.
Heating & Cooling
Besides making the interior of the vehicle comfortable, heat also prevents ice build up on your windshield wipers. Do yourself a favor and check your vehicle’s heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems to make sure they are working properly before the weather turns.
Being able to stop as quick as possible on snow and ice covered roads is critical. Have your brake systems checked, including brake pads, rotors, drums and brake linings. Doing so can not only help your vehicle brake better but save you unwanted expensive repairs by catching worn out pads before damage gets done to your rotors.
Fluids are the lifeblood of your vehicle but just as the cold can slow us down, it can take its own toll on your vehicle’s oil, power steering, antifreeze, brake, transmission and washer fluid. Keeping an eye on their levels can notify you of a problem before it becomes serious as well as helping your vehicle perform at its best.
Your vehicle has various filters within it to capture dirt, grit and grime to keep your car running smoothly. Replace your air filter, oil filter, fuel filter and PVC regularly to help your engine not only run better but improve its gas mileage.
As the days become shorter in Winter, your lights become even more important. Make sure all of your lights are clean and functioning properly, replacing any that are burnt out. If you find they are in need of cleaning, try using toothpaste and a rag to clean them.
Extreme temperatures can take their toll on the rubber that makes up your vehicle’s belts and hoses. But taking a few minutes to inspect them for any cracks, frays or wear that could compromise their integrity and cause them to break could mean the difference between a vehicle that runs well and one that leaves you stranded. Replace hoses or belts that look suspicious before they break.
Routine maintenance can prevent big problems and keep your vehicle running smoothly. These can include oil changes, tuneups and replacing your air filter frequently. Every vehicle manufacturer has their own recommended service schedules and you should check with your owner’s manual to see when you should perform them.
Having a car that runs properly for the long months of winter and having confidence in its ability to keep you on the road and safe is critical. If you find yourself doubting your car, truck or van’s ability to get you where you need to go, we invite you to check out our current inventory of Used Trucks, Vans, SUVs and Cars. At Broadmoor Motors Hastings, we specialize in finding the right used minivan, truck, SUV or car to fit your personal or business needs, all while giving you the best deal we can on both your purchase and trade in. Our family has been in the car business for over 60 years and continues to be family owned and operated in both our Hastings and Caledonia locations with financing available to those who qualify, and we will find you the right vehicle to fit both your budget and your needs.
Let Broadmoor Motors Hastings save you time and money when buying your next quality, Pre-Owned Car or Work Truck and on your next Car Rental. Whether you need a short term car rental, long term car rental, a replacement while your vehicle is getting serviced or simply need to replace your car, minivan, truck or SUV with a great used vehicle, we can help you out. Broadmoor Motors Hastings is here for all your Car Rental, Car Sales, and Auto Service needs in the greater Barry County area, Hastings, Middleville and Caledonia. Give us a call at 269.320.6304 in Hastings or 616.698.9595 in Caledonia to see how we can get you back on the road!