(PHOENIX)– After our longer than usual summer, many of our cars will need a little extra attention this holiday season. Your Neighborhood Auto Repair Professionals (NARPRO) offer these key steps to staying safe:
Check your wipers
- As we enter our wetter winter season, you want to make sure they’re in good shape so you can clearly see the heavier holiday traffic.
Check you battery
- The average lifespan of a car battery in Arizona is less than three years. Just because it survived the summer doesn’t mean it’ll last through your holiday road trips.
Check your tires
- As the temps drop, your tire pressure light is more likely to come on. For every 10 -degree drop in temperature, tire pressure drops about 1 psi.
- Research by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found that tires age faster in warmer climates. Cracks, bulging and worn tread can lead to big problems.
Check your filters
- After a summer packed with dusty storms, your filters could be pretty full of gunk. Besides affecting airflow and quality in your car, dirty filters can also hurt fuel efficiency and overall performance.
If your holidays include road trips to the high country, you’ll also want to:
Test your cold weather gear
- Are your chains in good shape? How’s the air in your spare? Got fresh batteries in the flashlight?
- If you have four-wheel drive that wasn’t used during the summer, make sure the system engages and disengages easily and that all the drivers in your house know how and when to activate the system.
Get the right antifreeze mix
- To prevent freezing, aim for a 50-50 mix of antifreeze (coolant) and water in your radiator.
- An inexpensive antifreeze tester at an auto parts store will help you determine if the mixture is correct and your Neighborhood Auto Repair Professionals (NARPRO) can test your coolant level of protection, pH balance and electrolysis. They can also properly dispose of antifreeze, which cannot be poured down a drain.
Prepare an emergency kit for your trunk to include:
- Blanket, boots, gloves and extra clothing
- Mobile phone, charging cable and back-up power pack.
- Extra water and food, including hard candies
- Ice scraper and small shovel
- Flashlight with fresh batteries
- Windshield wipers and washer fluid
- Flares and/or reflectors
- Jumper cables
- Tire chains
- Tire gauge, spare tire and tire-changing equipment
- First aid kit
- A bag of abrasive material such as sand, salt or non-clumping kitty litter, which can provide additional traction if a tire gets stuck in snow.
Be sure to keep the gas tank as full as possible to prevent the gas lines from freezing.
NARPRO (Neighborhood Auto Repair Professionals) The Neighborhood Auto Repair Professionals (NARPRO) helps car owners find skilled and honest car repair shops. NARPRO only recommends independent, family-owned, full-service auto repair shops that have passed 26 rigorous tests. Visit www.NARPRO.com to find recommended shops near work or home. NARPRO is the easiest way to find an honest mechanic in the Valley.