Danica Patrick, IndyCar Series sensation offers the ABC's of making
your car ready for winter: "I learned how to drive in the Midwest,
famous for some of the most extreme winter weather conditions," Danica
said. "This taught me that harsh weather can be very hard on a car.
You're risking a breakdown if you don't take the time to prepare your
vehicle for the winter, even if you don't have your own pit crew."
A recent survey commissioned by the Car Care Council found 70% of people admitted to not winterizing their vehicle. In fact, AAA estimates vehicle breakdowns top 5 million during the winter holiday season alone. "Many people are intimidated by the idea of "home car care" but there is no reason you can't do it yourself," Danica said. "Not everyone has a pit crew to help them stay in the race."
Danica recommends that you use these "Easy as ABC" tips to help your car run smooth all year round, and spend less money doing it!
A - Antifreeze: Make
sure you have the right amount of antifreeze/coolant in your engine.
Checking the level of antifreeze is as easy as lifting your car's hood
and looking to see if the fluid level in your antifreeze/coolant
reservoir is at the indicator line. If your system is visibly low, take
a few minutes to top off using a reliable, universal coolant like
PEAK(r) Long Life. Designed for use in any car or light truck,
regardless of make, model, age or original antifreeze color, PEAK Long
Life features a patented, all-season formula that provides superior
protection, guaranteed for 150,000 or five years. For details, visit www.peakantifreeze.com.
B - Battery: The lifespan of a battery is about three years; however, harsh winter weather can cut a battery's life in half. There are no strong warning signs to alert you that your battery is going to quit. Having it checked during an oil change can make all the difference in the world, and it's so simple. No one wants to be stranded with a dead battery in the freezing cold!
C - Check Your Windshield Wipers for wear and tear. Be sure to look for cracked rubber, or to see if the wiper has a curve to it. No need for a mechanic in this case; simply lift the blades away from the windshield and inspect them. Mr. Clean(tm) Premium Wiper Blades are easy to install and provides tremendous clean wiping in all types of weather. If you live in an area with severe weather, consider specialized winter wiper blades made to withstand the harshest of conditions.
D - De-ice: Add de-icing windshield wiper fluid to help with visibility in bad weather. Adding de-icing fluid is so easy, you can fill your washer fluid in a garage, parking lot, or just about anywhere. Mr. Clean(tm) Premium Windshield Wash wiper fluid both de-bugs and de-ices, eliminating the need to change products when winter arrives!
E - Engine: Check your engine oil regularly. This is a quick task that can help your car run smoothly. Just remove the dipstick from the engine while you're filling your tank or topping off other fluids. All you need is a paper towel to clean off your hands when you are finished! If the oil pressure gauge indicates extremely low oil pressure, take your vehicle in immediately as this can lead to engine failure.
F - Fill Your Tires: Having the appropriate pressure in tires is important in winter months; low tire pressure can hurt numerous parts of your car and lead to poor alignment. Checking tire pressure alerts you to possible leaks that could lead to tire blow outs. Having a tire gauge is very inexpensive and easy to keep in your glove box. This is just like checking the tires on your bike, except you don't have to do the pumping. One more reason to check the tire pressure...having full and balanced tires can save 2-3 miles per gallon of gas, that's extra money for you!
Your gas tank should never be less than half-full. Anything less than this can lead to the gas lines freezing in your vehicle. Make sure you gas cap is on tight; a loose cap can also result in your gas lines freezing.
"When it comes to winter driving, it's not about getting there first - it's about arriving safe and sound," Danica points out. "Making sure your car is Winter Worthy will save you money and help you avoid problems in the long run."