5 egg smell around the battery. However, because

5 Tips to Get Your Car Prepared for the WinterRegular, routine car maintenance – especially as the weather gets colder – is the best way to improve fuel economy, improve car performance, reduce pollution, and catch minor problems before they become major catastrophes. Cold weather only makes existing problems worse. These 10 winter car care tips will come in handy as the temperatures start to drop.1. Keep the car battery in good shapeCold-weather starts require a battery that is fully charged. The car battery provides the jolt of electricity needed to power all of the electrical components in your vehicle. On average, a car battery might last three to five years – but driving habits and other factors (such as exposure to extreme elements) can shorten battery life. Signs that your car’s battery might need replacing include a slow cranking engine, a check engine light, or a rotten egg smell around the battery. However, because most cars are dependent on steady current flow, any flashing light on your dashboard (from ABS to airbag sensor warnings) might signify a faulty battery. Batteries over three years old should be tested annually – especially if you live in an area that experiences cold winters. Most batteries are designed to handle the cold, but have optimal functionality between 30° and 90° F. Shop Battery Chargers2. Check the tire pressureTire pressure drops by about 1 pound per 10° of temperature. Make sure all the drivers in your house know to check the guidelines in the vehicle owner’s manual or tire sticker attached to the inside of their vehicle’s door to determine the correct tire and air pressure for their vehicles. Cars manufactured after September 1, 2007 are, by law, equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). The TPMS should alert the driver when one or more of the vehicle’s tires is significantly under-inflated. Shop Tire-Pressure Monitoring Systems3. Replace your wiper bladesCheck your windshield wiper blades before the weather takes a turn for the worse. Cold temperatures can make wiper blades brittle, leading to cracking of blades. And the buildup of ice, snow, residue, and frozen wiper fluid on the windshield can lead to bent blades and, worse, nicked windshield glass. Replace blades that are bent, nicked, or torn. On that note, also check to make sure your windshield wiper fluid reservoir is full and keep extra windshield washer solvent in your vehicle. No one wants to run out of washer fluid in the middle of a snowstorm. Shop Wiper Blades4. Inspect all lights and bulbsDuring the winter, working lights become more critical for others to see you. Regularly inspecting the bulbs and lenses in your car’s or truck’s headlights and tail lamps is important for the safety of yourself and those around you.Walk around the vehicle while someone works the switches.Wipe all lenses with a clean cloth.Check lenses for damage.Replace damaged lenses as soon as possible for safety and to prevent moisture from entering the lamp fixture.  Shop for lighting5. Have your brakes checkedAccording to AAA, the stopping distance required on ice at 0°F is twice the amount required at 32°F.Brakes should be inspected on a regular basis by a trusted repair facility that can measure pad and shoe thickness, check for even wear of the pads and shoes, check rotors for run out and hot spots, and check hardware to make sure that it’s working properly and is properly adjusted. They’ll also make sure that the wheel cylinders, brake lines, and brake master cylinder aren’t leaking, inspect calipers for wear, and check the level and condition of the brake fluid. Shop OEM brakes and brake parts6. (Bonus Tip) Make sure your car has an emergency kitAlways carry an emergency kit in your vehicle. In addition to emergency items that should always be in your vehicle , cold weather and winter supplies should include: Extra gloves, boots, and blanketsFlaresA small shovelSand or kitty litterTire chainsFlashlightExtra batteries


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