2006-12-01 / Community

Tips For Winterizing Your Automobile

The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates that more accidents occur during winter months and in wet weather than at any other time during the year. To help motorists better prepare their car for the winter months ahead, Allstate is offering important auto preparation tips.

"While you should keep your vehicle in top operating condition all year round, it is especially important to get it winterized in order to avoid dangerous situations while traveling in frigid weather," said Allstate Spokesperson for New York Krista Conte.

It is very important to give your vehicle a once-over said Conte. Check your battery, engine, brakes, tire pressure, coolant, transmission and windshield washer fluids before driving. Also, make sure mirrors and seats are adjusted and seat belts are working properly. Allstate Insurance Company and Road and Travel Magazine offer the following vehicle winterizing tips:

Get a basic tune-up. Hoses, belts, spark plugs and wires should be checked and changed if necessary.

Protect against freeze ups. Antifreeze/coolant is extremely important in colder temperatures. If there is too much water and not enough antifreeze/coolant in the system, it can freeze up, expand and crack key engine components. Motorists should check fluid levels and top them off with a ready-to-use formula before temperatures plummet.

Check tire tread. Bald tires are not only unsafe, but can potentially lead to a disaster on slick, wet roadways. Tires connect the car to the road, so traction is utterly imperative during winter. In areas with high snow accumulation, four winter tires are a solid investment. They offer more traction when accelerating, braking and turning.

Replace worn brake pads and shoes. Having maximum stopping power is essential.

Use a winter-formulated washer fluid. Regular blue washer fluids can freeze in the washer reservoir or on the windshield while driving. Special de-icer formulas will stay liquid in the washer reservoir at temperatures as low as -34F.

Check windshield wipers. If they streak or cause problems, motorists should buy blades especially made for winter conditions. Visibility is crucial this time of year.

Prevent gas line freeze. Using a winter fuel system cleaner helps prevent gas line freeze in extremely cold weather conditions.

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