As the cold weather approaches you’ll notice a host of car repair advertisements for special services needed for your car during the winter months. These Winter Specials will generally include an oil change, miscellaneous checks, and possibly a fuel injection service. Do you need these services…?
First and foremost, today’s cars have no special “requirements” for winter driving (unless you live in Alaska or some other artic region). Stick to your manufacturer’s recommendations and regularly scheduled car maintenance services – not those made by a repair shop – and your car will be fine. Winter services will not have any real benefit to you. They’re designed to instill fear and get you in the door.
Of course if your car needs repairs, especially safety-related repairs, have them addressed.
There is one item on your car that will dramatically affect driving in the winter – Tires. Why tires? Traction! Good tires provide that extra traction needed that will keep you safe and confident during winter driving. Tires that are marginal will perform marginally. Tires that are 50% worn will perform at 50%.
In sum, ignore the auto repair winter service specials. Find out what your manufacturer suggests and stick to your regular maintenance schedule.
WINTER TIP – don’t turn your wipers on when your windshield is covered with ice and snow. It can burn out the wiper motor and/or break the wiper linkage. To this end, always shut your wipers off when parking your car for awhile, so when you start up your car they won’t automatically come on and have to struggle through the build up of ice and snow.