Is Your Vehicle Ready for Winter?
October 11, 2012 // Franchising.com // Minneapolis,MN- With winter right around the corner, we’re preparing our closets and homes for the upcoming winter weather, but have you prepared your vehicle? Now is the time to get your vehicle ready for the cold months ahead. As more Americans are expected to hit the roads over the holidays this year, you will want to make sure your car is in prime condition to handle all road conditions.
If you live where it snows, you know what snow, ice, loose gravel and salt can do to your car. To ensure that your vehicle is properly prepared for winter travel please review the following car maintenance check list.
Minor scratches and nicks turn to rust, your heater gets a workout it may not be prepared for, and your windshield must deal with the temperature stress of a warm interior and a freezing exterior.
Engineers call this temperature stress “thermal shock,” and if you have a small ding in your windshield, thermal shock can cause your minor ding to turn into a major crack.
Repairing a windshield break right away is very cost effective. Replacing a cracked windshield can cost hundreds of dollars; on some cars, the cost may be even higher. “Once a ding or star (star-shaped with points spreading out) expands, windshield replacement is often the only option,” said Jay Bickford NOVUS Director of Training & Development.
“If the damage is reported quickly, the odds are much improved that NOVUS can save the windshield”, says Bickford. “It is important to perform the repair before dirt infiltrates into the break. If you can’t get to NOVUS right away, call your local NOVUS for a windshield saver patch. These patches cover the break until it can be repaired but do not obscure your vision.”
NOVUS, with more than 25 million repaired windshields under its belt, follows a “repair first replace when necessary” philosophy. The company invented windshield repair in 1972 and continues to pioneer numerous innovations in the field.
As any mechanic will tell you, checking fluids is the least expensive and easiest preventive maintenance you can do. Change your oil frequently (about every 3,000 miles), and don’t forget to change your engine coolant (diluted with 50 percent water) and transmission fluid, about every two years. Pure engine coolants can freeze at zero degrees, but mixing with water prevents freezing and provides great protection for the cold weather.
Though fluids like oil and transmission are commonly checked, other fluids integral to your vehicle’s performance may go unnoticed. Power steering, brake, radiator and battery fluids also should be filled to recommended levels.
Don’t forget to top off windshield washer fluid. If you’ve ever driven after salt trucks have come through to melt snow and ice, you know the importance of windshield washer fluid. Do not dilute washer fluid with water since it can freeze during winter’s harsh temperatures. While you’re at it, you might want to change the wiper blades to prevent poor vision in already poor driving conditions.
Batteries and Corroded Cables
Winter mornings can wreak havoc on an older battery. The average life of a battery is 3 1/2 years. If your battery is older than that, it’s probably time to replace. Have a mechanic check the battery and cables to ensure your car starts quickly and reliably.
Anything Made of Rubber
Worn, bald or badly aligned or balanced tires can mean accidents on ice, rain or snow. Have your tires checked for proper inflation and alignment, and rotate them about every 6,000 miles. If you live in unusually snowy areas, you may want to consider snow tires for added traction, or keep chains in your trunk or garage to help you through heavy snowfall.
Rubber parts under your hood need maintenance, too. Radiator, heater and vacuum hoses, among others, should be checked for cracks and bulges. Also, inspect all belts for damages and splits.
Rust, Minor Scratches and Nicks
Road salt can turn a slight scratch or nick to an ugly rust spot that’s impossible to avoid. And it can spread. Avoid costly body work by restoring spots before they turn into larger problems.
Front-wheel drive vehicles equipped with CV (constant velocity) joints should have the boots checked for rips and cracks. Boots protect CV joints, but when the joints are exposed to salt, ice and snow, they can damage the joint. Replacing a joint can costs hundreds of dollars, but replacing a boot costs a small fraction of that.
Worn or misfiring spark plugs can affect how efficiently a vehicle burns the fuel/air mixture, ultimately affecting engine performance. Worn spark plugs waste gas and increase exhaust emissions, so have them checked and replaced often.
Don’t postpone needed brake work. It’s dangerous to drive with poorly performing brakes, especially in snowy weather. Postponing brake service also can cause the cost of overhauling your brake system to skyrocket.
Last, but not least, check your lights. Accidents can occur if you can’t see where you’re driving, or if other drivers can’t see you, especially as we approach winter’s short days and long nights. Make sure your head lamps are clean. If you headlamps are yellow or clouded schedule to have your head lamps restored. NOVUS Glass offers headlamp restoration and head lamp savers to ensure a clearer vision when driving at night.
If you maintain your vehicle regularly it will provide you many years of safe service and better performance.
NOVUS invented windshield repair in 1972. For over 40 years, NOVUS has been and remains the industry’s research & development pioneer. NOVUS has been awarded more U.S. Patents for windshield repair than the rest of the windshield repair industry combined. For more information visit us at www.novuglass.com or call 800-77NOVUS (800-776-6887) for a NOVUS location near you. For franchise development information, contact Jim Olson at 800-944-6811 or firstname.lastname@example.org.