Getting your car ready for winter

Your car is a big investment, and you depend on it more in the winter perhaps than any other time of year.  It is important then to winterize your car. Some things you can do yourself, and some things you might want to leave to the professionals like Toyota Service Baltimore.

Especially if you have an older car, you need to pay attention to maintenance. The last thing you want is to be stranded in the cold with a car that won’t start, or find yourself sliding into a ditch because of a breakdown of some kind.  Cars also have a maintenance schedule that should be followed to keep the vehicle in the best condition possible.  Toyota Service Baltimore can help you with the scheduled maintenance.

Here are some things you can do yourself to winterize your car.

  • Change your wiper blades and refill the wiper fluid. The blades are easy to change and most people can do it.
  • Check your four-wheel drive by using it. It is important to use it at times to keep it lubricated. You can also have it checked when you bring it in for Toyota Service Baltimore.
  • Check the tire pressure, which is something you should do regularly year round anyway. Cold weather does cause the pressure inside the tire to drop.
  • Stock your car with emergency supplies. This can include blankets, dry food, water, emergency flares and a first aid kit.

Here are some things some people can do, but most people leave to the professionals with Toyota Service Baltimore.

  • Check the belts and hoses. Cold weather causes extra stress on them, so they are more likely to have a problem in winter than in summer. You can check them yourself for visible signs of wear, and then have them replaced if there are signs.
  • Change the oil. Most people don’t change their own oil anymore, but it is something you could learn to do. Remember to change the viscosity of the oil in winter. Use a thinner viscosity in winter.
  • Check the antifreeze. Make sure the mixture of antifreeze and water in your radiator is at about 50-50 for most cars.  You can get a tester to measure the level yourself at a parts store.
  • If you don’t have snow tires, it is a good idea to get them. At least check your ties to make sure you have good tread for the winter.
  • Check the battery. Toyota service Baltimore can run a load test on your battery to make sure it is operating correctly. Winter is hard on batteries, so you need to be sure it is in good shape.