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Cold Weather Vehicle Maintenance

Now that cooler weather has been coming our way, ‘tis the season for a home vehicle inspection!

Did you know that the cold weather can have an effect on your vehicle, even in climates like Florida’s that generally don’t see snow or below freezing temperatures? Several vehicle components are affected by the cooler weather, including your car’s fluids, battery, and tire pressure. The failure to maintain your vehicle can cause malfunctions and even lead to a collision.

So, what do you need to do to ensure your vehicle remains in working shape through the winter? Below are a few things you can do at home (or enlist the help of a mechanic to check) to keep your vehicle safe:

  • Check your battery connections. If there is any corrosion build-up, use a wire brush to clean it. Tighten any loose connections.
  • If your battery is not sealed and has cells that open, check the water levels.
  • If temperatures are unusually low, especially near or below freezing, your car’s fluids can become more viscous. Change your fluids (oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid, etc.) before temperatures plummet or start your car 10 or 15 minutes before you leave to allow your car’s fluids to warm up. Make sure to also check for leaks, which are more common in the winter.
  • Check your tire pressure. Tire pressure is affected by both hot and cold weather. Use a tire gauge to check the pressure when the tire is cold or before you drive anywhere and add air if necessary.
  • This is also a good time to check your tire tread for signs that it’s time to rotate your tires or perhaps replace them.
  • Check your wheel alignment. Tires out of alignment will not only “chew” up your tires but are a safety hazard.
  • Periodically checking your wiper blades is also an important part of routine vehicle maintenance. Blades that don’t properly clean your windshield of rain can cause visibility concerns.
  • If you’re not equipped to do your own vehicle inspection, bring your car to your mechanic or car dealership for service.

By checking your car at least twice a year when the weather cools and warms up again, you are protecting not only your vehicle but also yourself and anyone who rides in it. We wish you all a safe winter whether or not you spend it behind the wheel!

If you have been injured in a car accident due to a malfunction or poor vehicle maintenance, you may be able to file a lawsuit. To learn more, contact the Panama City car accident lawyers at The Pittman Firm, P.A. for a free legal consultation.


[BL1]link to tire safety post

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