Increase the Value of Your Car and Save Up to $1,200 Per Year with 3 Simple Tips
By Lauren Fix, The Car Coach®
Walking through a winter wonderland sounds nice when it’s set to music, but if your car breaks down on a freezing cold night, you’ll wonder why you didn’t winterize your wheels when you had the chance.
Icy temperatures take their toll on your vehicle. Car batteries lose 35 percent of their power at 32 degrees and up to 60 percent at zero degrees. For every 10-degree change in temperature, your tires will lose one pound of pressure.
Now is the time to prepare your car for the coming cold weather so you can avoid serious problems later. Cold weather can make existing problems much worse. The last thing any driver needs is a vehicle that breaks down in cold, harsh winter weather.
Car repairs can be a costly proposition; most people can’t tell if they’re being charged a fair price. Luckily, there’s an easy-to-use website and smartphone app called RepairPal that can take the mystery out of auto repair.
It can be hard to find a mechanic you can trust. In fact, 2 out of 3 people believe they have been ripped off by their mechanic. You can protect yourself by always using a RepairPal Certified shop, which guarantees fair prices and a minimum 12 month / 12,000 mile warranty for true peace of mind. Just go to www.repairpal.com to find one near you. You can also use their free estimator tool and smart phone app to check prices for specific repairs or call roadside assistance for help, all in one tap.
Save money this winter by addressing these important components of your car:
1.] BE PROACTIVE
Heating, Wipers & Lights
- Make sure heaters, defrosters and wipers work properly.
- Replace your wiper blades and use de-icer windshield washer fluid. As a general rule, wiper blades should be replaced every six months.
- Check and replace headlight and tail lamps.
Gas, Oil & Filters
- Keep your gas tank at least half full throughout the cold weather to prevent moisture from forming in gas lines and possibly freezing.
- Change your oil and fluids; being diligent about following the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual will save you money. Waiting too long or until there is a failure or “Check Engine” light can cost you big money. Follow your owner’s manual for proper internal changes.
- Have the battery and charging system checked, as cold weather is hard on batteries. Replace them if they are low on energy!
2.] WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD
Tires & Brakes
- Have the brakes checked. The braking system is the vehicle’s most important safety item. If you wait too long, a simple pad and rotor replacement can get very expensive. The longer you wait – the more it can cost.
- All year long, check your tire pressure once a month and match the number to the sticker inside your driver’s door.
- Check the tire tread depth on the tires, including the spare.
- If you drive on snow and ice, purchase winter tires for the safest way to travel. These special tires are designed to grip slick roads. It’s worth the investment. Think of it as a snow boot, giving you better traction on ice and snow.
- Why are winter tires the best choice? Continental’s ExtremeWinterContactTM tires are engineered with pliable tread compounds and tread designs that remain soft and flexible in even the coldest temperatures, increasing the contact area and providing better grip on wet or icy roads. This tire is designed for excellent snow and ice traction and performs superbly on dry and wet pavement in cold temperatures. Visit www.continentaltire.com to locate a local dealer.
Do you really need winter tires? Watch this video.
3.] CLEAN IT UP NOW
Cleaning is Critical
The inside of your car is dirtier than you think; the average vehicle has approximately 283 different types of bacteria.
We may clean the windshield or vacuum the carpet every once in a while but many of us ignore our car’s other surfaces.
The leather inside your car gets dirtier than you may imagine. Dirt and sun damage can destroy your leather and depreciate the value of the car
Leather is beautiful but it’s not maintenance free – to keep your leather looking like new and to prevent it from cracking, it’s important to clean and condition it.
The Dashboard – Dirty as a Toilet Seat
One of the most unsuspecting homes for bacteria is the dashboard. Lexol leather cleaning and conditioning products come in a variety of convenient packages and delivery systems that make it easy to keep your dash, steering wheel, seats, shifter, door panels and other valuable leather items looking new.
The latest innovation from Lexol is Leather Care Pads. Leather Care Pads offer the convenience of quick wipes with the durability of a high-quality cleaning pad – it lasts longer and works better! All it takes is just one simple application – and they don’t dry out! The full Lexol leather care lineup can be purchased online. Learn more at www.lexol.com.
4.] PACK THE ESSENTIALS
Carry an emergency kit that includes the following essentials: LED flares, blanket, small shovel, sand or kitty litter, snow brush/ice scraper, jumper cables or jump starter, flashlight, extra batteries, cell phone charger, gloves, boots, blankets, hand-warmers and high-energy snacks.
If you are a winter sports enthusiast, are traveling in the mountains or are planning a long drive across country to Grandma’s house for the holidays, consider carrying snow chains. They may be required in certain areas to drive on the road or over a mountain pass.
Be Car Care Aware
The Car Care Council’s free, personalized schedule and email reminder service is a simple way to help you take better care of your vehicle this holiday season and throughout the year. It is an easy-to-use resource designed to help you drive smart, save money and make informed decisions. “Be Car Care Aware” and get your free copy of the council’s popular Car Care Guide.
The secret to a safe winter is to “See and be Seen.”