The first day of fall is Thursday, Sept. 22, and soon cooler temperatures will make way for winter. Editors of the “Old Farmer’s Almanac” are predicting a potentially record-breaking cold season in store for the eastern half of the U.S., while the New Hampshire-based “Farmer’s Almanac” forecasts a “shivery, wet and slushy” few months for our area.
Regardless of how much stock you put in these predictions, the last thing any driver needs is a vehicle breakdown in cold, harsh winter weather. Before the temperatures drop, consider having your car inspected by the professionals at Cottons Tire to ensure it’s prepared to weather the season ahead.
Heating, wipers and lights
· Make sure your heaters, defrosters and wipers are working properly.
· Consider installing winter wiper blades, and use cold-weather washer fluid. As a general rule, wiper blades should be replaced every six months.
· Check to see that all interior and exterior lights are working and that headlights are properly aimed.
Tires and brakes
· Check the tread depth and pressure of all tires, including the spare. During the winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly.
· Have the brakes checked. The braking system is the vehicle’s most important safety feature.
Gas, oil and filters
· Keep your gas tank at least half full throughout the cold-weather months to prevent moisture from forming, and possibly freezing, in gas lines.
· Be diligent about changing the oil and filter at recommended intervals — dirty oil can spell trouble in winter — and consider using “winter weight” oil in the coming months.
· Check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time.
System checks: Charging, cooling and exhaust
· Have the battery and charging system checked, as cold weather is hard on batteries.
· Clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system. As a rule of thumb, this should be done every two years.
· Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.
This fall car care checklist is provided courtesy of the Car Care Council, who also urgers drivers to stock an emergency kit with jumper cables, a flashlight, blankets, extra clothes, bottled water, nonperishable food and a first aid kit with any needed medication.
“Winter magnifies existing problems like hard starts, sluggish performance and rough idling, so a little car care now is a sensible way to avoid being stranded out in the cold later,” said Nathan Perrine, executive director of the Car Care Council.” Whether you perform the inspection and maintenance yourself or go to a trusted repair shop, it’s a small investment of time and money to help avoid the cost and hassle of a breakdown during the cold winter months ahead.”
If you don’t have a trusted auto care mechanic to help get your vehicle ready for the upcoming season, it’s time to meet the pros at Cottons Tire. For nearly four decades, owners Mike and Marcia Price and their dedicated team of employees have worked hard to provide a superior tire and auto repair experience for drivers across Statesboro and Sylvania, with a focus on quality service, fair pricing and customer satisfaction.
Be sure to mention this ad when you schedule an appointment, and while you’re there, grab a card for their year-round rewards program, so after the purchase of five oil changes, you'll get the sixth one free!
Cottons Tire is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with after-hours drop boxes and 24-hour towing available. Contact the Statesboro location, 245 N. Main St., at (912) 764-8473, or the Sylvania location, 313 W. Ogeechee St., at (912) 564-2233.