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5 Things You Should Do in Winter Months – Car Maintenance 101

5 Things You Should Do in Winter Months – Car Maintenance 101


As we are in the throws of Winter right now, I’m reminded to take good care of my own vehicle - a 2021 Subaru Crosstrek – so I thought I’d share these 5 important tips:

We live in the rust belt, and one of our customers asked us just the other day – “How can we keep rust at bay?” The short answer is, you can’t. But you can slow it down with some simple steps. Don’t give up on exterior maintenance in the Winter. My excuse personally was that it will just be messy an hour later because it’s wet and sloppy. This year I’ve got a new car and want it staying nice for as long as possible so I’ve promised myself I will get car washes when it’s warm enough to do so. It removes the build-up of salt and mud, giving your car a fighting chance. I always look for a car wash that has an undercarriage wash! I also prefer a car wash where attendants pressure wash and brush the car before entering, making sure I tip them up front to do an extra thorough job!

Your car deserves a good deep clean and quality protection against the elements! A professional detail and wax job go a long way toward prevention of rust and corrosion as it allows dirt and salt to slide off easily, providing an invisible barrier. We’ve often seen undercoating create more problems by just hiding or sealing in rust, but that’s a topic for another article.

Top off your window washer fluid at least once a month. Use of washer fluid goes way up in the Winter, and you don’t want to be caught with an empty reservoir! Be sure to use a cold weather formula. A standard wiper fluid that works well during warm weather months will freeze in the hoses or on the windshield, obscuring visibility and creating unsafe driving conditions.

The best time to replace your wiper blades is at the beginning of Winter using a quality wiper blade for the best performance. Prevent damage to your wiper arms or motor! Remove snow and ice BEFORE turning on your wipers and check to be sure they are not frozen to the windshield or rear window. When parking your vehicle, double check that front and rear wipers are turned to the OFF position before shutting off your vehicle.

All-season tires are not always the best choice for Winter weather locations like ours with frequent snow, slush and ice. All season tire tread design just doesn’t cut it. There is certainly an up-front cost for having both Winter and Summer tires, but for the best traction and safety it’s worth consideration. I’ve had both sets of tires since starting my SUV journey almost 20 years ago, out of necessity. It was frustrating trying to find a more aggressive all-season tire tread in larger tire sizes, so I made the commitment to Winter tires and have not regretted that decision. It also brings back fond memories of going to the car garage with my gramps to get his tires switched over! I-86 Truck & Auto Repair sells name brand tires, and our tire package includes tire rotations and road hazard warranty.

I hope this article has given you some ideas on how to protect your vehicle from the ravages of our Western New York Winter.


Ronda Whitford, Owner
I-86 Truck & Auto Repair

Winter Conditions