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Highest Echelon

A personal finance blog. Paying for my University, life and eventually achieving financial freedom.

How to Winterize Your Car

Monday, October 16, 2006

Last winter wasn'’t too bad, probably due to global warming. But that doesn'’t mean this winter will be as pleasant. I like to winterize my car a few months before it starts getting really cold so that I can still work on it without freezing my fingers.

Here'’s what I do:

Checked Tire Tread: Well, I actually replaced all 4 tires, but that doesn'’t mean I don'’t check my tread-wear. I just look at it visually. If your tread is low you can either replace the tires, or switch them for new ones and leave the worn ones around to drive with in the summer. In the summer, I'’m known to drive until the metal wires are showing. Also, look at the tires from the top. If it looks like the middle is being worn much more than the outsides try deflating the tire a little. Conversely, if the outsides are worn more than the middle try inflating the tire a little more. A lot of mechanics recommend the penny trick. Turn a penny head down and stick it between the tire tread. If a part of Lincoln'’s head is covered your tires are probably ok. However, use your best judgment.

Windshield: I hate when my windshield fog up! Since water vapor likes to stick to the greasy film that accumulates over time on the glass, cleaning the inside of the glass is the best way to minimize fog. Use regular window wash or a mixture of vinigar and water. I repeat this every 2 - 4 weeks or so. If my windshield still fogs up, I pull out a napkin, open the window, spray out some window wash fluid, soak some up in the napkin, and wash the inside of the glass. I do this while driving sometimes. What'’s worse, not being able to see anything because of windshield fog, or swerving all over the road? I thought so.

Wipers: The tip of the wipers actually doesn'’t squeegee the glass. The rubber bends and the sides make contact with the glass. To keep those sides in perfect working order, take a piece of fine sandpaper and run it along the blade on both sides.

Trunk Supplies: It'’s recommended to keep a blanket, first aid kit, flashlight, extra gloves, flairs, sand (for traction), and a shovel in your trunk. You won'’t even know they are in there, but they may come in handy.

Glove Compartment Supplies: I keep a small camera in my glove compartment. If I ever get into an accident it will come in handy. I also have my cell phone on me at all times for emergencies.

I also wash and wax my car before it starts snowing. And I always change my oil before the winter starts. If I'm lucky I can drive through the whole winter on one oil change. Don't believe what they tell you. You can get more than 5,000 miles if you use fully synthetic.
posted by johnwilkx, 2:28 PM


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