Living in New York during the Winter months puts a lot of stress on your vehicle. Cold temperatures make it harder for an engine to work properly especially if its not warmed up properly. Snow and ice limit traction and cause more accidents, reduce your normal braking distance and can even disable you in the snow. Potholes on our roads damage wheels and tires. The salt used by town and highway plow trucks causes rust and gravel and rock salt pits your car's paint job. But there are things we recommend at Paul's Great Neck Auto Repair you can do to help your vehicle in this time of duress. The following are some of our easy steps to properly prepare yourself and your car for winter. If you have any more questions feel free to call us anytime at 516-498-8880 or stop by at 133 Cuttermill Road in Great Neck, NY
1. We recommend using snow tires.
An all-around All-Weather-Tire will get through the winter if you're not driving in the thick of it, but if you have the cash, consider buying a set of dedicated winter tires.
Bring your snow tires in and we will mount and balance them for you and when the snow season is over, bring your other set in and we will mount and balance that set for you. If you need advice on what tire to purchase, or to purchase tires from us, let our professional staff assist you in deciding.
2. Check your tire pressure.
Checking your tire pressure is really important during the cold months. Because traction is often at a minimum due to wet or snowy conditions, it is critical to have your tires properly inflated. It guarantees the best possible contact between the tire and the road. It will also help protect against wheel damage that might occur as if you drive over potholes. The correct tire pressure can often be found by the driver's side door printed on a sticker or read your owner's manual to find the correct tire pressure.
Stop by the shop anytime and we will check your tire pressure for you. If you are losing air in a tire, a nail or screw could be present. Bring your car in and we will gladly plug the tire for you.
3. Test your 4 Wheel Drive.
Because we experience summer and winter here in Great Neck, its a good idea to make certain that your 4 wheel drive will function properly.
Make sure the system engages and disengages smoothly, and that there are no strange noises emanating from the drivetrain when the system is in use. Check to make sure that the transmission and gear oil levels are correct.
It's a good idea to make sure everyone in your family who drives your 4 wheel drive vehicle knows how to engage and disengage this excellent feature.
4. Does your engine requires lower-viscosity oil in the winter?
Some car engines require a change to a thinner oil. This may be more necessary for older cars, since most of the new cars out there already come with oil that's thin enough to withstand the winter. How do you determine what type of oil your car should have in winter? Simply read the owner's manual or stop by and ask one of our mechanics to look it up for you online.
See our oil change service and ask about winter and high mileage oil alternatives.
5. Inspect the belts and hoses.
The hoses and belts in our newer cars lead longer lives than cars made in the past, but that doesn't mean they last forever. We are sure you noticed a loud screeching noise emitting under your hood when starting your car in the dead winter.
Stop by and have one of our Certified Mechanics check and replace your belts.
6. Inspect the wipers and wiper fluid.
We recommend a lower temperature wiper fluid and winter wiper blades so visibility is not an issue for you. Purchase new wipers at our shop and our mechanics will gladly install them for you and check your wiper fluid levels.
7. Check your car's battery.
Batteries don't warn you before they die. The extremely cold temperatures can reduce your vehicle's battery power by up to 50%. If your battery is older than 3 years, have us test it by one of our certified mechanics. We also check to make sure the battery posts and connections are free of corrosion and your cables are in good working order.
8. Check your anti-freeze mixture.
The ideal mixture of anti-freeze (coolant) and water inside your vehicle's radiator is 50:50. If the mixture deviates from this norm, then hot- and cold-weather performance can suffer dramatically.
Stop on by and let us use our anti-freeze tester to see if the correct mixture is in your vehicle. If too much water is present, your radiator can freeze and burst.
9. Carry an emergency kit in your car.
If your vehicle becomes stuck or disabled call our Roadside Assistance Team for assistance and towing service. Things you might want to consider carrying include:
- A flashlight, flares and a first-aid kit.
- Jumper cables, a tool kit and tire chains.
- A blanket, warm clothes, hat and gloves.
- Sand, salt or non-clumping kitty litter. Use this for added traction when a tire is stuck.
- A snow brush, snow shovel and, ice scraper.
- Extra washer fluid with no-freeze additive.
10. Check your heater and windshield front and rear defrosters.
We recommend that you check that they are in good working order. While you're at it, check the air conditioner as well. An easy way to speed up the defrost process is to turn on the A/C. (You can leave the temperature dial on warm so you don't have to suffer.) And now is also a good time to make sure your heating system works at the same time.