Is Your Vehicle Prepared For The Winter?
Spending a good portion of my life in Ohio and Michigan, it didn’t take long for me to realize just how inviting the friendlier winter environment is in this part of North Carolina. Snow tires? Not here. Major rust concerns wreaking havoc on vehicles? Not so much. Sure, we may groan as we contend with summer’s sweltering temperatures and humidity, but we can’t help from smirking - just a little - when we see our northern family and friends deal with their sometimes-brutal winters. However, living in our Lake Norman-area paradise does not make us car-care exempt. The result of not keeping up with your vehicle’s maintenance can sneak up on you like the blast of a lake-effect blizzard. Vehicles with unperformed/underperformed maintenance can result in more costly repairs later. Just like your doctor tells you about how healthy habits now can stave off medical complications later, so does your vehicle.
Winter preparedness is essential for worry-free operation. You may be traveling for a Thanksgiving visit, retrieving your college student for the holidays, or planning a winter get-away in the mountains. Perform a vehicle “seasonal wellness” check before heading out.
Maintaining correct tire pressure is the easiest thing to do to maximize tire life. Be sure to check the pressure (including your spare!), along with tread wear and depth. We don’t know when a rogue snowstorm will drop any white fluffy stuff on our roads, but that’s a bad time to discover your tires are worn beyond a safe depth resulting in lost traction or control.
How low do you go? Not a limbo dance question, but a fuel tank gas level question. During winter, some like to “warm-up” their vehicle to get the heat going in the passenger compartment. Getting into a toasty vehicle is inviting, but sometimes not really necessary. The engine actually warms up quicker when you begin driving. Warming up the engine will consume additional fuel. Also, due to winter gasoline blends from the refinery, there may be a slight difference in fuel economy. During winter, you may visit the pump a little more often, so the question is how low is your fuel level before you fill up? Are you refilling well before the gauge reads empty? Or do you roll the dice well after the “fuel-low” light comes on, telling yourself you can make it, only to suddenly find yourself in a 45-minute backup with no exit ramp for 10 miles? Here’s a tip, and why: Consider a ¼ tank as the new empty. Gasoline in the tank helps keep the in-tank fuel pump cool. Running extremely low on fuel may have an adverse effect on the pump’s temperature and its longevity. It’s a good idea to have a reserve in the tank if you encounter an unplanned traffic back-up or weather conditions that cause delays.
Our team at Christian Brothers Automotive Mooresville extends a heartfelt “thank you” to our Veterans for their service. In honor of Veterans Day, we want to remind our former and current military of your military discount.
We’re here to help with you with all repairs and services, for all makes and models. Our work is backed by our industry-leading 3-year, 36,000-mile Nice Difference warranty that expires at whichever limit occurs last. We also offer complimentary shuttle services and vehicle pick-up and drop-off to make your auto care experience easy and convenient. Call today at 704.448.0770 to make an appointment for your vehicle’s complimentary courtesy inspection.
Doug Vidler, owner, Christian Brothers Automotive, Mooresville