You’re driving crosstown or cross-county through the fall rain in Everett. As you drive, you’re thinking: winter can’t be far away.
Changing seasons not only means a shift in the weather, it also indicates the time to have your vehicle in for a pre-winter safety inspection, says Chuck Watts, general manager and chief technical officer at Z Sport Automotive in Everett.
“Winter driving can be hard on you and your vehicle,” he says. “Winterizing your vehicle before the bad weather starts will give you peace of mind that you and your family will be safe when you’re driving this winter.”
Here’s a checklist of key maintenance items to improve fall and winter driving:
- New wiper blades During the rainy season, having a clear windshield is crucial for maintaining good visibility and ensuring an unobstructed view of oncoming traffic and obstacles. Replacing your wiper blades can be the best way to keep your windshield clear heading into the fall and winter months.
- Battery testing Your vehicle uses more electricity in the cooler weather, with headlights, heater and defrosters always on. Watts says getting your battery tested or even replaced, before the winter load on it becomes greater, is an easy, but important element of getting your vehicle ready for winter.
- How are your tires? The tread condition of your tires at any time of the year is important, but in the wetter, colder months having your vehicle equipped with the right tires for the conditions goes a long way toward keeping you and your passengers safe. The technicians at Z Sport will work with you to make sure your tires are in good condition, and if they aren’t, they’ll advise you on the best tires for your vehicle at this time of year.
- Keeping things cool Your vehicle’s cooling system serves an important function, to keep the engine from running too hot. But freeze protection is also important for those times when the temperature dips below 32 F. Getting your coolant level checked, as well as its effectiveness to prevent freeze-ups, is another easy way to ensure safe, comfortable operation of your vehicle.
Right now, Z Sport’s Winterization Special includes a test of your vehicle charging system, battery and cleaning the battery connections; testing coolant for proper level, freeze protection and PH balance and topping up all fluids; plus a 50-point safety and maintenance inspection.
“Our winters in Western Washington are not extreme,” Watts says, “however, we still get snow and lots of rain, making driving difficult at times. Good tires and wipers, among other things, are necessary to keep you and others safe on the road.”