Magazine article Ebony

Winter Car Care

Magazine article Ebony

Winter Car Care

Article excerpt

Your car made it through one of the country's hottest summers on record, but winter's around the comer and it's ready to take aim at your ride if you haven't properly prepared it for the cold weather.

One of the winter's most dreaded sounds is the moaning of your car engine when it won't start. But you can avoid being stranded and stay one step ahead of the hawk if you remember three words--battery, fluids and tires. Keeping these areas of your car properly maintained should keep you on the road and keep wintertime from being a hassle. The American Automobile Association (AAA) recommends you follow this winterizing checklist:

* Battery: Check for loose cables and corrosive buildup. Make certain your battery is fully charged because batteries do not recharge as quickly in cold weather. Keep close watch on the battery's water level. Even some "maintenance-free" batteries may need to be topped off with distilled water to maintain the proper level.

* Ignition system: Check the spark plugs and ignition system. If necessary, replace old spark plugs and clean spark plug mires to restore peak starts.

* Radiator: Test for 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water. Fill as needed.

* Windshield washer/wiper blades: Add no-freeze windshield-wiper fluid to reservoir. Replace worn wiper blades.

* Belts: Make sure drive belts are tight but not cracked, glazed or frayed. Belts should not deflect more than half an inch when pushed by your finger.

* Hoses: Check for leaks, bulges or cracks. Make sure clamps are secure.

* Oil, transmission and brake fluid: Change oil and replace oil filter. …

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