How to Get Your Car Ready for Winter

Getting your car ready for winter is important to keeping it running throughout the season. Cold weather is hard on your car, so making sure your parts are in good shape before the worst of the weather hits will save you time and money by preventing breakdowns and the need for serious repairs.

The first thing to do is get an oil and filter change. Along with coolant, engine oil is one of the most important things in keeping your engine running well, and having dirty fluid is even worse in winter. Speaking of coolant, make sure it’s at the right level and add some if necessary. They may also do this during your oil change.

Have your battery tested and clean build-up off of the terminals. If your battery charge is weak, you may run into problems with starting it or maintaining power while driving.

Check your tire pressure. Cold compresses the air in tires, lowering the pressure, which reduces traction. Especially in winter when the roads are icy, it’s important to have good traction, so add air when necessary. Also, if you’re planning on switching to winter tires, now is the time.

Finally, put together a winter emergency kit with items you might need if you break down like flashlights, flares, blankets and warm clothes, and food and water. These are just a few of the things you should do before winter—check out more here!

Jeep Vehicles in Snow

Prepare your vehicle to perform as well as possible in the snow!

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How To Tell When Your Car’s Battery Dies

Bad Car Battery

There are plenty of signs of a bad car battery, so if you’re having any of these issues, you should get to your dealership or mechanic and have your battery checked stat.

If it takes a long time for the engine to turn on when you turn your car key, you might be having battery issues. You may also notice your check engine light comes on occasionally. Whether it’s the battery or a problem with the engine or transmission, you should see your mechanic in these cases no matter what.

When you check your fluids, make sure you’re keeping an eye on the battery fluid level. If the fluid gets below the lead plates inside, you should have your battery checked. You could also have a battery leak, which will lead to corrosion and could mean you have to replace the battery.

Finally, your battery will eventually just get old, so have your battery inspected every year!

Rain Driving Tips to Combat Those April Showers

Water Drops On Hood

Have you been so prepared for driving in the snow, that you’ve forgotten how to drive in the rain? Now that spring is finally upon us, spring showers are soon to follow.

Don’t get stuck this year; prepare yourself with these rain driving tips:

  • If it begins to rain while you are driving, slow down. The roads are most slippery just shortly after rain begins.
  • Increase the distance between your car and the other cars around you, in case you or one of the other drivers needs to stop quickly.
  • Avoid using cruise control while it’s raining, which may contribute to hydroplaning.
  • If your car does begin to hydroplane, do not slam on the brakes, which will only cause them to lock up.
  • Lastly, never drive through standing water. Just 12 inches of water is enough water to force your car to lose traction with the road.

And if you find yourself stuck, with your car floating in the middle of freshly formed body of water, abandon your car and seek shelter!

Driving Safety Tips: What to Do When You Hydroplane

Wet Tire on Black Background

Stay Safe by Knowing What to Do if you Hydroplane.

Driving in the rain with low visibility is scary enough, but when you skid on the water and feel yourself losing control of your vehicle, it’s even scarier. But there’s no need to panic—it’s actually very easy to regain control, so just follow these steps for what to do when you hydroplane and you’ll be fine!

The first rule of hydroplaning is do not slam on your brakes. Don’t even touch them! If you brake, especially if you brake hard, you will skid and lose even more control of your car. Not preferable. There are two different methods, depending on if you’re in a front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive car.

In a front-wheel drive car, you’ll want to steer into an open lane so you have plenty of room in front of you. If there isn’t an open lane, try the side of the road. As you’re steering over into that lane (don’t swerve!) slowly accelerate until you have more control.

In rear-wheel drive, on the other hand, you’ll want to take your foot off the gas pedal as you steer into the other lane. Don’t brake still! Just let your car decelerate. You should regain control quickly.

Think you might need new tires? Schedule an appointment with our service department.

Law Passes to Help Prevent Future Child Deaths

Child Safety

While we’re just a little bit removed from Tennessee, we found this great article that we had to write about and begin hoping that it becomes a law here in Michigan as well. The article asks the question, “What should I do if I see a child locked in a hot car?” Tennessee has passed a law that you are now able to legally break into a car to save that child.

“I hope this law brings awareness to parents to, number one, not leave their child in a hot car,” State Rep. David Hawk told TODAY Parents. “But if that does occur in Tennessee, I want our citizens to be aware that they have the ability to take action, to be a Good Samaritan and to save that child without fear of repercussions.”

According to KidsandCars.org, a total of 44 children in the U.S. died of heatstroke in cars. We hope that by helping to spread the word about this law and the tragedies it will help us to prevent future deaths. We are especially moved to write about this as there have already been 16 such deaths this year.

The founder of kidsandcars.org is Janette Fennell. In the same TODAY parents article, she suggested people be proactive in handling the potential life-threatening situations that are becoming all too common.

“If you spot a child alone inside a car, call 911 immediately, she recommends. If the child looks in serious distress, check to see if there’s any way to get into the car and if not, try to figure out which window you could break so the glass doesn’t harm the child,” Fennell said.

While there may not be such a law in Michigan as there now is in Tennessee, we here at Rochester Hills Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram hope we have helped do our part to ensure a child is never left in a hot car anywhere, but especially in our community.