During winter, Ohio's roadside assistance calls skyrocket as cold temperatures and snow lead to spin-outs and breakdowns.
Taking care of your car can help prevent winter breakdowns and crashes, but AAA finds that 62% of vehicles are behind schedule for routine maintenance services. This can lead to breakdowns and costly repairs. Thankfully, AAA has developed the following simple car care checklist to help save time and money and keep your vehicle winter-ready.
Winter Car Care Checklist
- Batteries – Starting an engine in cold weather requires a fully charged battery in good condition. However, according to AAA research, two-thirds of drivers never check their battery before it dies. Have a technician test the battery for charge and corrosion before winter hits. If you do need a new battery, check out AAA’s online battery store for fast, easy, and convenient battery shopping.
- Tires – Cold weather can decrease tire pressure and make tires susceptible to going flat. You can find proper tire pressure levels on a sticker located on the driver’s side door jamb. Tire tread is also important to check, as treads help grip winter roads. Check for low tread depth and uneven wear. Schedule a routine check at your local AAA Car Care Plus or Approved Auto Repair facility to ensure your tires are winter-ready. If you’re in the market for new tires, shop at our online tire store, where you can buy tires and have them shipped to a participating location for installation.
- Lights – With shorter daylight hours during the winter months, motorists do more driving in the dark. If not working correctly, burnt-out headlights, emergency flashers, turn signals, brake lights, and backup lights are all major safety concerns. Check your lights and replace any burnt-out bulbs to ensure other motorists can see you clearly on the road.
- Wiper Blades – Blades should completely clear the glass with each swipe. Replace blades that leave streaks or miss spots. Winter wiper blades, which wrap the blade in a rubber boot, can help prevent ice and snow buildup.
- Fluids – Make sure your oil, power steering, brake, and coolant fluids are at recommended levels. Fill the windshield washer fluid reservoir with a cleaning solution that has antifreeze components for cold weather use.
- Brakes – Badly worn brake components, or a brake system in need of hydraulic fluid, can make it difficult to stop on slick winter roads. Have a certified technician ensure all parts are in good working order so your vehicle can brake safely on icy winter roads.
- Emergency Kit – It’s important to keep your car stocked with jumper cables, blankets, a flashlight with extra batteries, an ice scraper, reflectors, a shovel, a bag of abrasive material (kitty litter, salt, or sand), a first-aid kit, water, non-perishable food, and a mobile phone charger. This way, if you and your car become stranded on the side of a winter road, you’ll stay safe and warm until help arrives.
Ensure your vehicle is winter-ready by scheduling time with our automotive experts for routine inspections before you hit the road. We’ll make sure you have the safety, security, and peace of mind you need to take on your next great adventure!