The holidays can be a hectic time of year, and more likely than not, that means we’re spending more time in our vehicles. From trips to see family and friends to outdoor winter wonderland excursions, it’s important to make sure you set aside the time to have your vehicle checked, or even do it yourself! Your friends at Car Pros Muffler Masters want to help, so keep reading for some at-home tips on how to get your vehicle ready to take on the holidays!
Tires: The last thing you need during the holidays is to have your tires give out on the road. Take the time to check each tire for signs of wear or damage and inspect the tread depth of each. If you see any damage like gauges or deep chunks taken out of the walls of your tires, they should be replaced. If not, tires should also be changed out if more than 5 years old, or if the tire tread reaches 2/32 of an inch or less.
Pro Tip: An easy way to check your tread depth is by using the penny test! Simply insert a penny upside down into the tread groove of your tire with Lincoln’s head facing you. If you can see the top of his head, you should replace your tires. If the top of his head is almost visible, this is a good time to start planning a tire replacement.
Lights: This is check is best done at nighttime, so you can really see how well your lights are working. Grab a buddy, have them turn on the car, and work all the lights. Make sure they hit the brake light, turn signals, emergency flashers, and all the headlights, taillights, and dash lights. If you see that any of your lights are dim or flat out aren’t working, this is the time to take note and have them repaired.
Under the Hood: Now that we’ve checked our lights, it’s time to take a quick look under the hood. With your vehicle off, examine your car battery for any powdery substances around the terminals – this is battery corrosion, so don’t touch! If present, you’ll need to remove the battery cables and clean the area. If your battery is leaking, swollen, or bloated skip the cleaning; you need a new battery! While you’re still under the hood, check your hoses for leaks. If you see any oil, liquid substances, or dried liquid residue, it’s best to take it in for a quick check by the pros to be safe.
Pro Tip: When cleaning your battery terminals, make sure to wear protective gloves! You can mix up your own battery cleaner with just a tablespoon of baking soda and a cup of water. With the engine off, detach the negative and then positive cables from your battery. Grab an old toothbrush, dip it in your battery cleaner, and get to scrubbing. Once you’ve cleaned off the corrosion and grime from your battery terminals, wipe everything down with a damp rag and use another rag to dry completely. Dab a bit of petroleum jelly on the terminals once dry and reattach the positive then the negative cables.
Fluids: Routinely checking the various fluids keeping your vehicle going is essential, especially in the winter months. The oil, transmission, and brake fluids should all get a thorough check, along with the windshield wiper fluid and antifreeze. Your oil level should never get below a quart, so make sure to keep your favorite on-hand in the garage. Some fluids simply can’t be checked on newer model vehicles, so if you’re uncertain, check your owner’s manual or consult a professional at Car Pros Muffler Masters to be sure.
Wiper Blades: Your windshield wiper blades need to be replaced each year to be most effective, but especially with the temperamental weather in the colder months. Even if you’ve replaced your blades recently, it won’t hurt to do a cursory inspection to check for any chips or loose rubber along the blade. If you see any damage, it’s best to get them replaced.
Last, But Not Least: While most of the things on this list are fairly easy to check on your own at home, it’s always best to take your vehicle in for an inspection at an auto repair shop you trust. Have the pros at Car Pros Muffler Masters make your holiday season a little less stressful by letting us get your vehicle holiday ready for you!
Before you head out for holiday travel, we invite you to schedule an appointment. Car Pros Muffler Masters is conveniently located at 3015 N Stone Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80907. If you have any questions, call us at 719-636-1087. You’ll be glad you did!