Tips For Winterizing Your Vehicle

Don’t wait until the cold weather hits to winterize your vehicle.  Proper winterizing is not only good for the health of your car, but also for your safety-which is what is most important.  Although safety is a consideration to take all year long, it is especially important when the winter months hit.

Get your battery tested. Most are good for five years, if it’s older than that just replace it. It’s not going to fail on a warm sunny afternoon

Make sure your wipers are clearing the windshield properly.

Are your tires making the grade?Have your tires inspected and replaced if necessary.  Bring your vehicle in to be assessed.  Do you need winter tires?  How does the tread depth measure up? The National Highway Transportation Safety Board says you need at least 2/32″ of depth to be considered safe. Also, be sure to check your tire pressure. The cold air contributes to loss of pressure, so make sure to check your air frequently.

Be sure your spare tire is in your trunk and filled.  We also recommend keeping an emergency kit with a flashlight, first aid kit, jumper cables, flares and a blanket handy for emergencies.  Other great ideas include waterproof matches, protein bars, a Swiss army knife and a bag of cheap kitty litter to use to gain traction in the event you get stuck in the snow.   

Our most important tip is to take the time to get your car’s coolant system checked. Extreme temperatures and harsh conditions can be the nail in the coffin of a weak coolant system.  Your car’s radiator pressure should be tested and the hoses examined for cracks or bulges. The good news is a technician can quickly test a radiator without the hassle of having to remove them from the vehicle.

Did you remember to perform a radiator flush last spring?  Antifreeze is one of the most important parts of your car’s winter armor.  Make sure your levels are correct and that your mixture of antifreeze to water is a 50/50 ratio. Don’t forget to check the PH of the coolant. It can cause a myriad of problems in your cooling system. It will literally rot the system from the inside out.

If you can’t remember the last time your water pump was replaced, it’s time for a new one.  This is also a great opportunity to consider replacing your thermostat.  You will save money on labor by doing it while your vehicle is apart.

Last, but not least, please have your brakes examined.  A well-maintained braking system can be the difference a fender bender and having your vehicle declared totaled.  Replacing your brakes now is a minor expense compared to the potential of purchasing a new vehicle, higher insurance rates and the headaches associated with working with your insurance company.  Remember, No brakes = No fun.

Remember, your safety is important to J&R Auto Repair.  Bring your car in before that first snowfall and let us help keep you and your family safe all winter long.

John Simone (Owner / Master Mechanic)

One Response

Great tips John! I will be bringing in the truck as soon as Carl allows me to!


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John Says...

Check your oil. Some cars will only take 3.5 quarts, so if you’re down 2, it’s more than half empty!

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 John at J&R Foreign Car Repair provides excellent service at an incredible price.

John’s ability to diagnose the most difficult problems, provide required repairs, and keep the bill to a reasonable level is amazing. John saved me from purchasing another used car. I have a Nissan Maxima 1995 purchased new it has about 100k miles with a serious starting problem. The starter will turn but it will not start. I had taken it to 5 mechanics before. All were extremely nice and, I thought, very knowledgeable- they have worked on various problems for me earlier and always provided a great service and very reasonable prices. Each has performed various diagnoses and some repair varied from replacing the ignition key, to the starter, various sensors, and spark plugs. The car seems to run better then it reverts to the same old behavior. At the end they all recommended taking it to the dealer. They all indicated to take it to the dealer citing their ability to diagnose the problem is limited to the diagnostic software they had and the dealer had full access to the software they will be able to provide more accurate diagnosis . Based on their recommendations I took the car to IRA Nissan in Tewksbury the bill was unreal very high compared to the 5 mechanics. Same thing the car performed a bit better but nothing tangible the same old problem.

So at this point I am ready to dump the car in the junk yard…..I took the car to John he kept it for few days and was able to diagnose the problem very effectively. John replaced the on board computer and couple of sensors. The car is running like new and the best part at a fraction of the cost of the dealer. John was able to diagnose and fix the problem accurately where 5 gas stations and the dealer where not able to do so. What a great service not to mention the price was more then reasonable. Now I can use the car for another 100k miles.

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