It's always a good practice to properly maintain your car. With the New Year here and winter in full effect, now is as good a time as any to carefully check out your vehicle.

The Six Things to Check

oil changeAccording to the Car Care Council, these are six things every car owner needs to have checked:

  • Battery – Your car isn’t a car without a battery. Make sure the battery is clean and free of corrosion, and double check how old it is. It’s recommended that you replace a car battery every three to five years to maximize the car’s reliability and performance.
  • Antifreeze – The antifreeze (coolant) should be flushed and refilled every two years in most cars. If you choose to flush your antifreeze on your own instead of taking it to a shop, make sure you don’t use 100 percent antifreeze. 100 percent antifreeze actually has a lower freezing point than when mixed with water.
  • Brakes – Get your brakes checked out at a shop. Good brakes are especially important in snowy and slippery conditions.
  • Tires – Keep an eye on your tire pressure during the winter, as cold temperatures causes pressure to drop. The council recommends checking pressure once a week during the winter. You should also check the depth of your tires' tread using the penny test.
  • Oil – Always change the oil as recommended by your vehicle's owner’s manual. The Car Care Council suggests switching to low-viscosity oil during the winter, which flows better in colder temperatures. Don't forget about filter checks when changing your oil.
  • Wiper Blades – Freezing temperatures can cause wiper blades to deteriorate more quickly. The blades can harden and become brittle, increasing the possibility of cracks. If they are broken or don't work effectively, you should change out the blades with brand new ones. If you live in a snow-heavy area, consider purchasing winter-specific blades.

The Car Care Council notes this six-point check will help your vehicle perform better and help you avoid unexpected repairs.

Don’t Forget to Check

Always make sure your car is ready for harsh weather conditions. Whether it’s snow, ice, or rain, not being prepared can come with a big hit to your wallet.

You should also come in prepared if you're searching for an auto loan – especially if you're dealing with less than perfect credit. At Auto Credit Express, we connect people to dealers who have the lenders available to help borrowers in many types of credit situations. Get started today by filling out our auto loan request form. It’s free, and there's no obligation to buy anything.