Avoiding that Tow Truck: 4 Mid-Winter Tips Straight from Mechanic School

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When temperatures really plummet and the snow falls heavily, conditions can be quite grueling. The combination of worsening driving conditions, road salt, and frosty air nipping at bolts and circuits can lead to added wear and tear. In many regions, towing companies might even need to work in overdrive as winter conditions see cars getting stranded or simply refusing to start.
However, giving cars the proper care and attention they need during the cold season can help drivers stay in the clear. Here are some tips you can give to clients who want to avoid an unscheduled date with the tow truck.

1. Keep the Battery in Top Shape

A car’s battery is what helps it start in the first place. However, extremely cold temperatures make it more difficult for an engine to turn over. As a result, the starter has to work harder, thus placing more strain on the battery. This is why many cars might just refuse to start in the winter.
To help clients avoid this problem during the cold winter months, you can recommend that they always make sure their battery is fully charged and not more than five years old. Waiting to turn on the headlights until the engine is up and running is also helpful because then no precious power is diverted from starting the car.

2. Pros With Auto Mechanic Training Know Visibility Is Essential

Visibility is also another big winter car concern. For this reason, after mechanic school you’ll want to encourage clients to take the time to properly clear their car of snow and ice before driving.
Ensuring good visibility also includes checking the clarity of lights and making sure wiper blades don’t freeze to the windshield. Wiper blades should be replaced about once every six months, and washer solution needs to contain anti-freeze in the winter. The anti-freeze is very important because summer washer fluid will freeze in low temperatures, and finding this out while on the road with a spray of dirty snowmelt on the windshield is a recipe for disaster.

3. Make Sure All of the Liquids in the Car Can Function Properly

Aside from making sure clients have the proper wiper fluid, you can also check that the coolant has a sufficient amount of antifreeze in it and that it’s strong enough. Professionals with auto mechanic training also know that keeping the gas tank at least half full helps to reduce the chances of moisture getting in and freezing the lines.
Cold temperatures can cause motor oil to thicken too, which leads to poor lubrication of a car’s engine. To lessen this effect, there are special oils formulated for winter use. Once you become a mechanic, encouraging your clients to stay on top of all these considerations could help them avoid a tricky situation.

4. Grads of Mechanic School Know to Check the Tread and Pressure of Tires

Having a good set of winter tires is important, but trained auto technicians know this isn’t the only consideration to keep in mind. Cold air causes tire pressure to decline, so topping up tires can also be a good idea during the cold winter months. Keeping an eye out for this is important because driving with low tire pressure can wear tread faster and cause cars to handle less predictably. By encouraging your clients to follow these simple preventative steps, you can help make sure that their cars are ready for anything winter throws at them.

Tire pressure and tread should be checked regularly
Tire pressure and tread should be checked regularly

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