A Complete Guide to Auto Maintenance and Repair for Surviving a Rochester, NY Winter
Car safety has for long been a highly debated topic with the number of highway crashes increasing as every year passes by. However, thanks to the advancements in technology, scientists worldwide believe that automated and safe driving could be possible as early as 2030 making use of cutting edge technologies such as radar and lidar. Soon, your vehicle will be able to communicate with other vehicles on the road and also the road itself. As a result, you would be able to identify obstacles and any other issues on the road on time and avoid any possibility of a collision. Scientists believe that computer algorithms could be generated to automatically guide vehicles to their destination without colliding with other vehicles and we would soon enter an era completely free of road accidents.
While this might certainly take some time, in the present you will need to rely on available means to maneuver out of tough situations on the road and survive a tough Rochester, NY winter. Weather has been among the leading factors in causing accidents. Certain atmospheric conditions can have a great impact by impairing visibility and other factors that influence the driver’s judgment. Weather can also take a toll on the performance of the vehicle and make the vehicle difficult to control and maneuver on the road leading to collisions and the need for automotive repair.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, over 600,000 crashes take place annually due to winter road conditions such as fog, icy pavements or snow covered pavements, which is certainly a trend that needs to be taken seriously. Such statistics only emphasize the significance of preparing you car for the cold weather. And just like we gave you a few tips to prepare your car for summer, here are a few important things you should do to ensure that driving in the winter remains safe for you and your co-passengers:
Automobile Maintenance to Survive a Rochester, NY Winter
Maintenance check for winter
- Schedule a comprehensive maintainable check: Winter months can be very harsh on your vehicle. Everything from your engine to the heating system will be under pressure as the temperatures drop in the winter months. In such a scenario a scheduled maintenance check at that right time can play a vital role in making sure that your car does not face any problems once the winter months commence. A thorough maintenance right before winter with a tune up of all the vehicle components that are otherwise neglected during the warmer months is very essential for winter preparation.
- Ensure optimal levels of vehicle fluids: Overworked fuel can lead to poor performance in winter and also lead to other more serious problems. The brake, transmission , engine oil and coolant need to be checked and replaced or topped up as per the need. This is because, each of these fluids play an important role in the smooth functioning of your vehicle. Worn out brake fluids can hinder the brakes from functioning properly and put more pressure on your brakes when you drive during winter. This in turn can cause severe problems with your braking system and can also cause life threatening collisions.Weak transmission fluid levels can also lead to your transmission to not function smoothly, and in some cases, it can even cause the breakdown of the entire transmission system. This can be a huge problem during the winter months as getting stranded may also be a possibility. The same is also true about the engine oil and coolant. Engine oil and coolant can easily get contaminated from overuse. This would mean that the engine oil which is necessary for the smooth functioning and protecting the pistons may not be at it’s optimum capability. In addition to this, any contaminants in the engine oil and coolant can effectively reduce it’s freezing point, which would mean it would be extremely difficult to start your car from cold.
- Change the filters: It is also be a good idea to change or clean all the filters when preparing your car for the winter. A high quality filter for all the fluids can make sure that they are not exposed to any contaminants throughout the winter and your car can function smoothly regardless of what the conditions are outdoors. Oil filters make sure that the small metal parts and other contaminants picked up by the engine oil during it’s circulation are trapped within the filter. A good high quality oil filter can trap particles as small as 10 microns and prevent the engine from facing any damage and should be applied when you get a oil change in Rochester. This is because, even though the size of the contaminant particle is quite small, the cylinders and pistons in an engine are designed to fit perfectly together with a tolerance of less than 10 to 20 microns. This means that even particles only a few microns in diameter can wreak havoc inside the cylinder. As a result, it is also be a good idea to either clean or replace your old oil filter when preparing your car for the harsh winter months. It should only take a short while and you should be on your way after a quick oil change.
Inspect your brakes in time for snow in Rochester, NY
- Look out for damages in the braking system: The brakes of your car are of prime importance when it comes to your safety especially when driving on ice covered, snow covered or wet roads. Brakes that are worn out take longer stopping distances and increase the possibility of a collision. Another reason why it is important to check brakes always during a maintenance check up is because, brakes make use of frictional force to bring a vehicle to halt. This frictional force generates massive amounts of heat that can continuously degrades all the brake components. As a result, it is never more important than to check brakes during winter preparations. Tricky road conditions and poor brake systems are a perfect recipe for disaster.
- Schedule a brake inspection right before the onset of winter: Although brake systems may vary greatly from one vehicle to the other, their principle remains the same. In other words all types of brakes make use of frictional force to stop the vehicle and as a result, all components will be subject to wear and tear regardless of what braking system you use. The brake pads, rotors, hydraulics and also the calipers can be subject to wear and tear. By scheduling a brake inspection right before the onset of winter, you can avoid any issues later. This is because, a mechanic will certainly check for any wear and tear on the pads and compare it with the allowed clearance, the mechanic will also check for cracks and any deep grove formations on the rotors. Once this is done, the mechanic may recommend replacement depending on the need.
FAQs on brake inspection
How often should I inspect the brakes?
It is advisable to inspect the brakes on you vehicle every six months.
Why is it necessary to check brake fluid?
The brake fluid helps keep the brakes functioning smoothly. Any loss in this fluid can add extra pressure on the hydraulic system leading to wear and tear and eventual breakdown.
Check your lights and windshield wipers – You need to be able to see in the snow in Rochester
- Ensure that the headlight is sufficiently bright: Visibility is one of the greatest concerns in winter months. As a result, it is highly recommended to do anything that can enhance your visibility during the winter months. It is recommended that you check all your headlamps, indicators and also the brake lights to ensure to maximum visibility during the winter months. Lights are comparatively cheaper to buy and replace. As a result, it might be ideal to replace your lights altogether if they are not functioning at their optimum brightness levels. You could also choose from slightly brighter headlamps than your ordinary bulbs for winter. However, make sure that you install only those lamps that are recommended by the FMCSA to not cause any problems for yourself or fellow commuters on the road. The same goes for the brake and parking lights too. These lights help fellow commuters to identify your vehicle when parked or while braking. Any damage to these lights can impair the visibility of fellow commuters and can cause a collision.
- Replace the wipers: It is also a good idea to replace your worn out wipers for the winter months. It is always a good practice to replace your wiper blades once in every six months to ensure maximum visibility. wiper blades are generally made out of synthetic rubber compounds. These compounds have a tendency to expand slightly during the summer months and contract slightly during the rainy and winter seasons. As a result of this constant expansion and contraction, the wiper blades tend to crack and eventually disintegrate. This can be a major concern during winter, especially if it is snowing and you need your wipers to be functioning at maximum capacity. Wiper blades are also cheaper in price and as a result, it is always recommended to replace them right before winter so you have a brand new set of blades to help you drive safely during the winter.
- Replace the wiper washer fluid: Once you have replaced your wiper blades, it also makes sense to change the wiper washer fluid when replacing the blade. The washer fluid can help clear your windshield efficiently and help improve your visibility in bad weather. So make sure that your mechanic replaces your old washer fluid with anti freeze liquid for the rainy season to ensure optimum functionality.
FAQs on lights and windshield wipers
What is the right time to change my headlamps?
On an average a headlamp could last as many as 2000 hours. However, this could depend on several different conditions. In general if you observe any issues such as flickering or loss of brightness you should change your headlamps.
What type of headlights are ideal for winter driving?
Generally it is advisable to have your headlights polished right before the winter. However, there is no specific type of lights available as of now that are designed specifically for winter driving.
Make Sure Your Tires are Ready for a Rochester, NY Winter
- Replace worn-out tires: How well do you know your tires? Good traction is an important necessity when it comes to maintaining good handling for a vehicle. This can play an essential role in bad weather conditions such as a snowy winter. The tires provide the necessary traction to your vehicle when moving. As a result, it is very important to make sure that your tires remain in their best shape when using them in winter. Replacing all the tires that are a bit too worn out can prove to be a great asset when driving in wet winter conditions. Whether you are looking for tires in Rochester, NY or are searching for a Henrietta location that offers tires make sure to get them checked before winter.
- Use special snow tires: For best results, it is always wiser to use specialized snow tires in winter especially in places such as Rochester, NY and Henrietta where snow fall is a common phenomenon. These tires are made from specialized rubber that is resilient to temperature and also includes deeper treads compared to ordinary tires. These deep treads help in getting better traction when driving on snow. Rubber is a material that often becomes very brittle as the temperature drops and this leads to less traction. Less traction implies reduced handling and low grip. This in turn can make driving very difficult on snow as the tire can simply slip on the snow and ice. This also causes problems when braking as the vehicle tends to skid more due to the reduced grip.
- Check the air pressure in the tires: Finally, winter months can cause the air pressure in your tire to drop quicker than you may expect in warm summer months. Reduced air pressure can also cause several handling issues reduce your mileage and also increase the tire temperature leading to your tires to rupture even as you are driving. Specialized snow tires are built to work in cold temperature conditions and can retain all the properties expected from tires even in cold climatic conditions. These tires can also easily aid the other safety systems of your car and make sure that your winter passes by without any incidence.
- Inspect the car’s heating system: In addition to this, you may also want to get your car’s heating system checked for any anomalies. You may also want to insulate the interiors of your car effectively with all weather floor mats if you don’t have one already. These mats are easy to handle and can keep your car comfortable even in cold winters.
FAQs on checking the tires
What is the ideal time to check and replace a tire?
The tires of your car are generally designed to the manufacturer’s specifications. As a result the ideal time to replace your tire could vary depending on the brand used in your car. However, you need to check your tires for wear at least once in a year.
What difference can nitrogen tires make?
Nitrogen is used to inflate certain tires; you need to check whether the tire on your car allows it, and if it does, you can certainly benefit from the reduced stress on tires.
Keep an emergency kit handy in case you get stranded somewhere in or around Rochester, NY
Finally it is very important to make sure that your car is stocked with emergency supplies at all times. This could help you just in case you get stranded inside your car in the winter. Here’s a checklist you can use to load your car with emergency supplies
- Stock you car with at least one woolen blanket
- Keep a stock of extra wiper blades along with your tool kit
- Stock a pair of warm clothes to change into including hats and boots
- Replenish your First Aid Kit
- Stock extra washer fluid
- A pair of jumper cables in case you can’t get your car to start
- Keep a shovel in case you get stuck inside snow
- Flashlight to send a distress signal
We hope you found this guide helpful, if you did would you please share a tweet about this guide for us. Seasonall Automotive Center would be happy to ensure your car, truck, van or SUV is ready to get through a vigorous Rochester, NY winter. Give us a call today at (585) 424-1052 to get started or pay us a visit for your Henrietta Auto Repair needs.