The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) provided checklist for car owners residing in areas with cold climates to do necessary maintenance in keeping their vehicles in shape. Hope what I have shared to you today would help you in keeping your vehicle perfectly working.

The first step on the checklist is to read your owner’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s recommended service schedules.

Engine Performance:

  • Fix your engine’s drivability problems by sending your car to a trusted repair shop.
  • Replace dirty filters.

REMEMBER that cold weather will make existing problems worse.

Fuel

  • Put a bottle of fuel de-icer in your tank once a month to help keep moisture from freezing in the fuel line.

REMEMBER: gas tank that’s kept filled helps prevent moisture from forming in the first place.

Oil

  • Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual.

SUGGESTION: if your driving is mostly stop and go or you always go on short trips, you have to change it often every after 3,000 miles or so.

Cooling System

  • The cooling system should be flushed and refilled as recommended.
  • The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. RECOMMENDED mixture of coolant is 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water
  • The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a certified auto technician.

Heater/Defroster

  • The heater and defroster must be in good working condition for passenger comfort and driver visibility.

Windshield Wipers

  • Replace old blades.

REMEMBER: in choosing a replacement for old blades consider the climate in your area, purchase rubber-clad (winter) blades to fight ice build-up. Carry an ice-scraper. Stock up on windshield washer solvent — you’ll be surprised how much you use.

Battery

  • The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment.
  • Check fluid level monthly. If battery caps are removable
  • For DO-IT-YOURSELF’ers scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections.,

CAUTION:

  • Be sure to avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid.
  • Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.

TAKE NOTE: Removal of cables can cause damage or loss of data/codes on some newer vehicles so refers to your manual for instructions.

Lights

  • Inspect all lights and bulbs.
  • Replace burned out bulbs.
  • Clean road grime from all lenses with a moistened cloth or towel ( do this frequently).

Exhaust System

  • Your vehicle should be placed on a lift and the exhaust system examined for leaks. The trunk and floorboards should be inspected for small holes.

CAUTION: Exhaust fumes can be deadly.

Tires

  • Worn tires will be of little use in winter weather.
  • Examine tires for remaining tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks.
  • Check tire pressure once a month.

REMEMVER: Let the tires “cool down” before checking the pressure. Rotate as recommended. Don’t forget your spare, and be sure the jack is in good condition.

Emergencies

  • Carry gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a small shovel, sand or kitty litter, tire chains, a flashlight, and a cell phone. Put a few “high-energy” snacks in your glove box

These are some few steps on how to keep your car in perfect shape and thus extending its life. There are several ways you can do to keep you car in perfect condition, all you have to do is to look for reliable sources ( thanks to DoItYourself.com for this great tips). Furthermore, you can send you car in the mechanic every other month and have it checked. You can also send your car in a car wash ( if you are a busy person and no time to clean your car). See there are several ways in keeping your car in shape all you have to do is to know what your car needs! 😉

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