By taking a few simple steps now, you can prevent breakdowns, keep your family safe and stay on the road.
The last thing you want to worry about is the reliability of your vehicle. That's why Nissan of Staten Island has put together a checklist of maintenance tips for your vehicle.
CONTINUE ROUTINE OIL CHANGES:
Cold weather can be brutal on your engine. Motor oil thickens when cold, which reduces engine circulation and makes it more difficult for the engine to turn over. This can be avoided by utilizing a thinner oil during the winter months. Most vehicles provide a winter viscosity recommendation, which allows for better oil flow at low temperatures. Perhaps one of the easiest maintenance practices for drivers, oil changes are a relatively inexpensive way to prevent costly engine repairs later down the road. Be sure to change your vehicle's oil every three months or 3,000 to 5,000 miles.
LISTEN TO YOUR BRAKES:
Inclement weather is can hit at any given time, and stopping power is a key safety component. Have your brake system, including linings, rotors and drums, inspected by a technician to ensure you're ready for any type of condition. Listen for any scraping or grinding noise, and pay attention to soft or delayed response. Scraping or grinding may be the result of a foreign particle or need for brake pad replacement, while slow response could mean there is too much air in the brake lines. In either case, allow Nissan of Staten Island to inspect your brakes if you notice either of the above.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ADEQUATE BATTERY POWER:
A fully charged battery is necessary to start your vehicle! The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. However, you can perform routine maintenance by scraping away corrosion from posts and cable connections, cleaning all surfaces and tightening connections. A battery test is part of Nissan of Staten Island’s routine oil change, so be sure to ask our technician how your battery checked out.
CHECK TIRE FOR WEAR AND TEAR:
Examine tire tread, wear and sidewall to ensure your tires can withstand wet road conditions. As a good rule of thumb, tire lifetime should equate to five years or 60,000 miles. Be sure to check tire pressure on a monthly basis for maximum fuel efficiency and even wear. Tire pressure drops when outdoor temperatures drop, so be sure to keep tires inflated to manufacturer specifications. Remember, it's always a good idea to carry a spare tire!
CHECK FLUID AND FILTERS:
Fluids are a key component to your vehicle's functionality. Top off fluids, including coolant, brakes, transmission, power steering and windshield fluids before winter hits. When your vehicle is working hard to keep you on the road, it's important to do your part to ensure it has all components necessary to do its job. Check air filters and replace as needed. Dirty filters not only decrease engine performance and fuel efficiency, but they can also cause engine issues. Filters keep out harmful debris, so if yours is dirty or logged, it is time for replacement.
REMOVE EXTRA WEIGHT:
Take time to brush off excess weight, remove additional luggage that may still be in your vehicle from a weekend trip to help improve fuel efficiency. This also entails any bike racks or outdoor equipment that may make your vehicle less aerodynamic during already challenging conditions.
REPLACE WIPER BLADES:
Another simple, yet crucial maintenance piece, windshield wiper blades should be replaced twice a year. Streaks and missed expenses of glass are sure signs that your wiper blades will soon be in need of replacement. Decreased visibility puts you and your family in danger, especially when dealing with sleet and snow. Wipers are easy to install and will go a long way in keeping you comfortable and on the road.
ENSURE HEATER AND DEFROSTER FUNCTIONALITY
Driving without a functioning heater and defroster is not only uncomfortable, but also unsafe. Extreme lows in temperature can occur without warning, and it's important to keep you and your passengers warm and the road visible. Be sure to check the heater and both front and rear defroster prior to the first cold spell.
Walk around the outside of your vehicle and check the operation of all lights, including headlights, tail lights, parking lights, brake lights and emergency lights (hazards). Replace broken or burnt out lights, ensuring all vehicle lights are clean and free of dirt and debris.