Ten Things To Help Keep Your Vehicle Safe, Looking Sharp

Winter rages on, the elements ravaging your vehicle.

Keeping it running is only half the battle. You also need to take some time every so often to tend to a damp, dingy interior.

Here’s some helpful reminders that will keep your vehicle performing and looking good in the process:

  • Check your antifreeze. Have your trusted service advisor check the level and condition of your antifreeze. If this vital fluid isn’t flowing properly, you may damage your engine. Traveling somewhere especially cold? Consider antifreeze formulated for frigid temperatures.
  • Regularly vacuum your interior for a healthier cabin. Weekly vacuuming improves air quality inside the vehicle, can help prevent stains from setting in and assist with drying out the interior.
  • Wax helps protect against the elements. Apply a carnauba-based wax every three months to protect painted surfaces. Silicon-based products tend to create a smeared appearance on black or dark-colored vehicles.
  • Use a detailing spray to keep your vehicle looking fresh. Use a spray detailer every two to three weeks. It maintains the high gloss shine in between major wax applications. It also prevents contaminants from easily adhering to the paint.
  • Replace your wipers. Rain and snow remain in many forecasts and the prospect of April showers is on the horizon. Replaced worn, cracked blades with fresh ones for better visibility. Consider buying a synthetic-blend rubber blade. Blades made of synthetics or silicone better withstand extreme weather conditions. Hot summer days can wither and crack traditional rubber inserts.
  • Check your tires. Cold weather reduces tire pressure. Check in with your trusted service advisor to make sure your tires are properly inflated and that the tread is wearing evenly.
  • Don’t forget to check the spare. You never know when that spare tire is going to be called on. When was the last time you checked on its condition? Is it properly inflated with good tread? Make sure the spare tire and all the necessary roadside equipment is easily accessible.
  • Get a multipoint inspection. Basically a physical for your vehicle, a multipoint inspection gives you the latest and best information on your vehicle’s condition. A thorough inspection will help you game plan for future repairs--and help prevent a breakdown during the next storm.
  • Get your brakes checked. Don’t have to wait until your brake warning light goes on. A routine inspection before winter roots out potential problems. Friction so integral to the braking process eventually degrades the system’s shoes, fluid and hoses. The telltale signs that the brakes are struggling--squealing during stopping or a loose brake pedal--can happen any time of year.
  • Test your battery.Cold weather can kill a battery overnight. Get your battery professionally inspected. A technician will check for corrosion and leaking, as well as run a diagnostic test on the battery's overall strength. This will help you gauge if you should buy a new battery or if your current one has what it takes to make it through the winter.