Tips From A Technician: How to Prepare Your Car For Winter

Inspecting The Wear Of A Balding Tire Tread Using a PennyIt’s officially fall! Time for football, a yard full of crunchy leaves, and falling temperatures. On a scale of 1 to 10, how ready are you and your vehicle? WBAL-TV 11 Baltimore recently stopped by Firestone Complete Auto Care to chat with Jeremy Turner, one of our many trusted technicians and local store managers, for tips on preparing your car for poor weather. Follow along as Turner highlights his most important winter car care tips!

Winter Car Tips From A Technician

Tip #1: Check Your Tire Tread Depth With A Penny

According to Turner, checking your tire tread is one of the most important and easiest things to do to help ensure your safety during winter weather. It’s as easy as grabbing a penny from under one of your floor mats (because come on, there’s definitely a penny somewhere down there…). With Lincoln’s head facing downwards, place the penny into several different grooves in one of your tires. If you can see the top of this former president’s head, your tread depth is worn to the point that it could be time to get new tires.

Pro-Tip: While you’re examining your tires, check out other signs you may need new tires. Things like intense exposure to sunlight and heat can also impact their winter readiness.

Tip #2: Check Your Tire Pressure BEFORE You Fill Up With Air

This is an important tip, but one that is often misunderstood. As Turner points out in his interview, many people think that their tires should be filled to the pressure level that’s marked on the side of the tire, but in fact, you should be referencing the tire pressure noted on your door jamb. Filling your tires to the sidewall pressure specifications could be a little too high and cause undue wear, says Turner. Instead, you should consult your owner’s manual or the vehicle specifications on the door jamb. This is the ideal air pressure for your specific vehicle.

Tip #3: Get Your Battery Tested

“People also tend to think that cold weather kills your battery,” says Turner, “but that’s a common misconception too.” After a long hot summer, the battery tends to get more corrosion on its terminals and connections, which will cause the battery to drain down. With Firestone Complete Auto Care’s Early Detection Analyzer, Firestone technicians can determine the health of your battery in a minute or less. So before winter turns your heat-drained battery into a dead battery, get it tested!

Pro-Tip: Do a visual inspection of your battery. Is your battery swollen and bloated? Is there white gunk around the terminals? These are two signs your battery may be about to wave goodbye. Know the warning signs of a battery on the fritz.

Take the advice of one of Firestone Complete Auto Care’s trusted technicians and schedule your appointment online for a fast and free battery check, tire evaluation, and even a free air fill-up at your neighborhood Firestone Complete Auto Care location (only if you need it, of course)!

Want more? Watch Jeremy Turner’s full interview with WBAL-TV 11 below!

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