By Rick Seamann, Centris vice president of indirect and merchant lending
- Make sure windshield wipers are in good shape and functioning correctly. Poor visibility can cause accidents. Always keep the reservoir full of wiper fluid and have a back-up container in the trunk.
- Test the car battery. Cold weather can wreak havoc on a car battery if it is not fully charged, and a fully charged battery will prevent being stranded in the cold.
- Check the owner’s manual for the correct oil usage. Cold weather can thicken oil if not used correctly which will cause engine problems.
- Check the cooling system. Cold weather makes rubber parts brittle which can crack causing leaks.
- Consider changing your tires to snow tires for better traction on icy days.
- If your vehicle is a 4×4 or AWD, ensure the system is working properly by putting your vehicle into 4X4 mode on a dry surface and making a hard right or left turn slowly. If the vehicle grabs and jerks it is working correctly.
- Check the windshield for rock chips. Cold weather can crack the chips causing poor visibility and damage to the windshield.
- Properly inflate the tires. This not only provides optimal gas mileage but can help prevent slippage.
- Make sure the heater and defrost systems are working correctly before the first freeze of the season. Imagine the difficulty of trying to defrost the windshield with no heat.
- Stay at home in bad weather. Most accidents can be avoided by staying in and out of the cold and ice.
Have a safe winter and remember proper preparation prevents poor performance!