Money Saving Car Care
For the Winter Months
The weather outside is frightful - but your car repair costs shouldn't be! In just a few simple steps, you can ensure that you are protecting your investment and avoiding costly repairs down the road. Even if you're driving a little less this season, an idle car shouldn't mean a neglected car. Whether you do it yourself or take your car to a professional service technician, it’s important to take proactive steps to prepare your car for winter driving.
Under the Hood
As the weather cools down, small creatures like mice seek warmth in places, and sometimes, it's under your car hood. It's always a good idea to check under the hood before you drive to make sure you don't have any chewed wires, or any small creatures (alive or otherwise) that may have scurried in there.
Keep the battery connections clean, tight and corrosion-free. Cold weather is hard on batteries, so it’s wise to check the battery charging system. Because batteries don’t always give warning signs before they fail, it is advisable to replace batteries that are more than three years old.
Heater, Defroster and Wiper Blades
Check that the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system are working properly as heating and cooling performance is critical for interior comfort and for safety reasons, such as defrosting. Fall is also a great time to check your air filters. Wiper blades that are torn, cracked or don’t properly clean your windshield should be replaced. As a rule, wiper blades should be replaced every six months. When changing the blades, be sure to check the fluid level in the windshield washer reservoir.
Check the tires, including the tire pressure and tread depth. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots. If snow and ice will be a problem in your area, consider special tires designed to grip slick roads. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly as tires lose pressure when temperatures drop.
Have the brake system checked, including brake linings, rotors and drums. Brakes are critical to vehicle safety and particularly important when driving on icy or snow-covered roads.
Regular car washes ensure you help maintain the beauty and therefore the value of your car. A clean car is also safer and healthier for you. Elements from dried rain, snow, and salt left on the car creates rust, can carry pollutants, and cause problems seeing. Visit your local drive-thru car wash a few times this season!
Just In Case
Whatever your plans, it's always smart to consider some additional emergency items to keep in your car:
- Jack and spare tire
- Jumper cables
- Emergency car battery charger
- A gallon of coolant and gallon of oil
- Tire pressure gauge
- Duct tape and small tool kit
- Bottled Water, energy bars, and blanket
- Bag of rock salt, shovel, and antifreeze
If you’re in the market for a new or used car – or refinancing an existing auto loan – let BMI Federal Credit Union put you in the driver’s seat with the auto financing or refinancing option that’s right for you. Apply Online or call us at 614.707.4000.