More Than 70 Percent of Motorists Fail to Winterize Their Vehicles

More than 70 percent of motorists admit that they did not have their cars winterized in preparation for inclement weather, according to a survey conducted by the Car Care Council. This can prove extremely dangerous if your car breaks down due to a lack of preventative maintenance. Why take the risk?

The good news is that it’s not too late to prepare your vehicle for harsh winter weather. The Car Care Council recommends the following tasks be performed by a do-it-yourselfer or professional automotive technician”:

  • Check the coolant (antifreeze) every year; coolant should be flushed and refilled at least every two years in most vehicles.
  • Check the owner’s manual to see if your driving habits are considered “severe,” and if so, have the oil changed accordingly, usually every 3,000 miles; consider changing to a “winter weight” oil if you live in a cold climate.
  • Check the battery and exhaust system.
  • Be certain the heater and defroster are working properly.
  • Keep the gas tank at least half full, decreasing the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing.
  • Check tire tread depth and tire pressure; consider special tires if snow and ice are a problem in your area.
  • Make sure the headlights work and are properly aimed.
  • Replace wiper blades every six months; consider special snow blades if the weather dictates.

A complete service interval vehicle schedule along with other winter car tips is available at the Car Care Council’s web site, www.carcare.org. The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” campaign, educating consumers about the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair.