Keep your car in top shape for winter

The cold months of winter are quickly approaching, and it’s essential for Minnesota State University, Mankato students to maintain their car now, rather than later, to keep it running smoothly. This will also, in the long run, help students save money when it comes to car repairs, and college students are sure to do anything to save some money while in school.

There’s a long list of car parts to upkeep in order to prepare for the winter months, but the list isn’t as intimidating as one may think.

One of the most important things to check first is a car’s battery and how much life is left in it. In exceptionally cold temperatures the battery’s chemical reactions will slow down, causing the car to take longer to start. An easy way to prevent a stalled car is to turn on the car once a day and let it run for at least 15 minutes.

A second thing students should check is the windshield wiper blades and the wiper fluid. The blades for a car will typically be good for six to 12 months, and replacing these when necessary will help drivers see through their windshield more clearly. 

Filling wiper fluid is also a key part to upkeep a car for the winter, as it helps a car stay free of ice and snow. When refilling the wiper fluid be sure to use freeze-resistant wiper fluid to reduce the chances of the fluid from freezing.

Following this on the list is tires. Whether it’s checking the tire pressure or replacing the tires for ones fit for driving through snowy roads, making sure a car’s tires are ready for the winter season is crucial. Having proper tires for the season and filling them with the adequate air pressure will help decrease the possibility of an accident.

While this next step on the list isn’t vital for only the winter months, it’s still one that students should be aware of. Changing the car’s oil will increase the functionality of the engine, in result allowing the car to run better. A simple way to stay on top of oil changes is to check the current mileage of the car and the sticker the mechanic wrote down for the next oil change.

One of the last components on the list to keep a car prepared for winter is to check the belts and hoses on the car. When the temperature cools down it can wear out the belts and hoses that allow the engine to continue running. Check these for any cracks or signs of wear and replace them if needed.

MNSU campus security offers resources to help students on campus when needed. As stated on their website, security provides free vehicle jump-starts and unlocks for any student. The only requirements for this is for the student to provide personal identification and to sign a waiver freeing the University from liability.

Be sure to use these tips to best care for any car before it’s too late.

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