Winter Is Coming—Is Your Car Ready?

Car tires On Snow

Wait a minute. You live in Southern California where winter is hardly a thing. Do you really need to winterize?

Getting your car ready for winter in frozen climates is more intensive, but a wetter, colder SoCal winter puts different demands on your vehicle than the dry heat of summer. You can check many of these items yourself but if we can get you on a regular maintenance schedule, we’ll make sure you stay up to speed—safely, of course!

  1. Tire Pressure—When the temps drop, so does tire pressure, increasing the risk of blowouts and decreasing fuel efficiency. Look up proper inflation rates in the owner’s manual or on the driver’s side door frame and check it with a tire pressure gauge next time you are fueling up.
  2. Tire Tread—It’s a simple equation, deeper tread equals better traction. This is especially true in places where rain is sparse. Road grime builds up between storms, making roadways slippery and treacherous as soon as the surface gets wet. Use a penny to see if you have the minimum 1/16” of tread by putting Lincoln upside-down in the groove. If you see his head, it’s time for new tires. Or, use a quarter to allow Washington to tell you that you have 1/8” of tread, giving you even more stopping and turning control in an emergency.
  3. Wipers—How long has it been since you replaced your wipers? Do they squeak, chatter, skip, smear, or streak? Good visibility is a crucial element of safe driving and wipers should be replaced every year. This is especially important going into wetter months when fog and rain mix with the dirt on your windshield to create a hard-to-see-through haze.
  4. Oil—Clean oil is critical all year, but especially in the winter to protect your engine on all those cold start mornings.
  5. Maintenance—Bring it in and we can check essential components for winter driving, including your heating and defrosting system, battery, belts and hoses, antifreeze, and brakes.

Unless you’re heading into the Sierras, you won’t need snow tires or chains, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore the demands that colder, wetter weather puts on your vehicle.

At Bender’s Auto Care, our team is staffed with skilled customer service professionals and highly trained mechanics dedicated to making sure your vehicle gets you safely down the road. Aside from making sure your car ready for winter, we perform nearly every service, including AC repair, radiator repair, and transmission service on most makes and models. For repair and service that gets done right the first time and friendly people who are fired-up to help you, call 626-332-3022 or request an appointment online today!