Adjusting to the winter months takes some effort, and some of that effort should go into winter automotive maintenance. No matter where you live, the changing seasons present a challenge to your vehicle, and probably more than you realize. A lot goes into keeping your ride riding smoothly, and any car maintenance issues that you ignored in the summer could create an additional hazard in the winter. Winter automotive maintenance includes anything that prepares your car for winter, from protecting sensitive components to ensuring proper visibility. Auto repair shops approach the process in two ways; preparing the car for the worse possible weather conditions and making important repairs that insure the long-term functionality of your car. You might have to grit your teeth and personally gird yourself for a long harsh winter, but winter automotive maintenance is much easier than most people think. Most importantly, any efforts you put in now can increase safety while decreasing the probability of costly repairs. Battery Test or Replacement Cold temperatures can reduce battery power up to 50% and shorten the battery life. When temperatures drop, have your auto repair shop test your battery for performance. If it is near expiration, it’s better to replace it than risk driving with a dying battery. Heating System Have an auto technician go through the heating and auto-defrost system and make sure it is in top condition. On the road is not the place to find out that a water pump has a crack or there is a short in the electrical circuit. Brakes Worn brakes can cause a problem at any time of year but pose even greater hazard in wet weather. Brakes are no places to cut corners, so have your auto repair shop inspect your brakes for any problems. Antifreeze Having proper antifreeze levels is essential to your winter automotive maintenance checklist. Make sure the level is full and the mixture is as close to 50/50 as possible. Tires Your tires are the point of connection to the road, so you’ll want to make sure that they are in good condition. Look for wear, cracking, cupping, or bulging. If they are in poor shape, replace them If you are in an area that receives snow, use snow tires during the winter months. Lights, Bulbs, Wipers, Windows Maintaining visibility is high on the list of winter care priorities. Inspect all bulbs and lenses. Replace any that are burned out and clean or replace any dirty or damaged lenses. Wiper blades only last a year, so replacing for the winter months is a great idea. Use a detail polish on your windshield to help rain or snow sheet off. There are many important elements in preparing your vehicle for the long winter slog, and auto repair shops make sure that winterizing your car takes the chill out of future repair.