Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter

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With summer coming to a close and cool weather approaching, now is the time to think about getting your vehicles prepared for winter. While we don't see a lot of snow in the Savannah, GA area, it can still get down right chilly. The colder weather is hard on your engine and your vehicle in general. Vaden Automotive Group wants to make sure that your vehicle is prepared for the up coming winter. Here are a few items that should be checked when getting your car ready for winter.
 

Battery

 
In order for your vehicle to start properly in colder weather, your motor needs to be fully charged. When looking over the condition of your battery, make sure that your battery post are cleaned and have it tested. Also check the charging system and belts to make sure they are all working properly.
 

Ignition system

 
Checking your ignition system is just as important as having your battery checked. The last thing you want to to go to work on a cold morning and not have your vehicle start. Be sure to check the ignition wires, spark plugs, and the distributor cap.
 

Lights

 
Your lights are something that should be checked year round, but it gets darker sooner during the winter months. Plus there’s the snow that reduces visibility as well. So to endure that you can see properly, have all your lights checked.
 

Brakes

While it may snow every 10 years in the Low Country and Coastal Empire, it is important that your brakes work properly. Check your brakes to ensure even braking. Pulling, change in pedal feel, or unusual squealing or grinding may mean they need repair.
 

Windshield Wipers
 

When the weather turns cold it begins to rain or snow. You will want to make sure that your wipers are working correctly. Rain and snow will restrict visibility. Check the wipers to make sure that no streaking occurs.

Heating and cooling system

 
To prevent a sudden breakdown in the cooler months, be sure to check your radiator hoses and drive belts for cracks and leaks. Plus, make sure the radiator cap, water pump and thermostat work properly. Also, test the strength and level of the coolant/anti-freeze. To keep yourself toasty warm in the vehicle, you will need to make sure that the heater and defroster work properly.
 

Tires

 
Checking your tires may be the most important step to getting your vehicle ready for winter. The tire pressure should be checked, this includes the spare tire. Properly inflated tires will give you best traction on winter roads and increase fuel efficiency. Plus, the tire should be checked for the proper amount of tread and any possible damage to the tire.
 

 


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Emergency Car Kit
If you have had your license for a while, you know that anything can happen. You can break down anywhere at any moment. And usually it’s usually out in the middle of nowhere. If you are lucky your cell phone will work, you have a membership with an auto club, or you have OnStar. As for the the unlucky ones, you will either have to hail a passing car or spend the night where your car broke down.

To make sure that you are prepared for all situations, keep a roadside emergency kit in your car at all time. It can mean the difference between getting back on the road or being stuck for a long time waiting on help or rescue. Some of the basic items include:
  • At least two roadside flares
  • a quart of oil
  • small first aid kit
  • extra fuses
  • flashlight
  • A multipurpose tool commonly containing pliers, wire cutters, knife, saw, bottle opener, screwdrivers, files and an awl
  • tire inflator
  • rags
  • pocket knife
  • pen and paper
  • a help sign
  • emergency blanket.
This will all take up minimal room in your trunk if you have a smaller car or little trunk space. But if you have a large SUV or full sized truck that can haul more stuff, here are some other items that might come in handy:
  • 12-foot jumper cables
  • Two quarts of oil
  • Gallon of antifreeze
  • First aid kit (including an assortment of bandages, gauze, adhesive tape, antiseptic cream, instant ice and heat compresses, scissors and aspirin)
  • Flat head screwdrivers
  • Phillips head screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Vise Grips
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Rags
  • Roll of paper towels
  • Roll of duct tape
  • Spray bottle with washer fluid
  • Ice scraper
  • Granola or energy bars
  • Bottled water
  • And heavy-duty nylon bag to carry it all in.
There are a few companies that offer pre-assembled emergency roadside kits. While these kits contain the basics items in a small convenient carrier, you might want to a supplement yours with a few of the items listed above to suit your needs. Before you actually use your kit in an emergency situation, take some time to familiarize yourself with the items you've collected and learn how to use them properly. Unfortunately, there isn't one tool for all your roadside emergencies, but with a little planning and a little trunk space, an emergency roadside kit can save the day.
See our expert tips!

 

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Best Driving Tips for New Drivers

When your teenager finally gets behind the wheel of a car, their main concern is driving without the supervision of an adult. As a parent, your main concern is their safety on the road. It is important for your teen to know that with the freedom of driving also comes significant responsibility. Here are some basic driving tips that parents and new drivers should keep in mind.

Keep Your Hands on the Wheel

Many drivers, new and old, have trouble following this simple suggestion. Before you even leave the driveway, check and adjust your mirrors, seat, and anything else you may have to before taking off. Doing these steps before you even leave the driveway will prevent you from having to make these adjustments while driving, which can easily take your eyes off of the road and create a dangerous situation.

Turn Your Cell Phone Off

Like oil and water, texting and driving do not mix. Studies have shown that driving while trying to send out a text message is just as dangerous as driving drunk. Do everyone a favor and turn your phone off or on silent. Turning it off or putting it in silent will help you to avoid distractions from incoming calls or messages. If you should  need to use your phone in an emergency situation, pull over first.  Not only is talking on the phone while driving distracting,  in some states, it is illegal and a ticketable offense.

Wear Your Seat belt

Wearing a seat belt has been scientifically proven to help prevent injury in an accident. Plus, not wearing your seat belt is a ticketable offense in 49 states. Save yourself the hassle and just wear your seat belt- it could save your life.

Obey the Speed Limit

Nowadays, it seems like everyone is in a hurry. It’s no wonder that speeding is a major cause of traffic crashes. Plus, more drivers are convicted of speeding than any other offense. Always obey the posted speed limit and slow down in rain, fog, snow and ice.

Stay in Your Lane

Drifting into the other lane can cause several problems. You could run into another car, cause an accident by cutting another person off, or even backup traffic. Make sure you pay close attention to what lane you are driving in and cars in other lanes to avoid these issues. Also, be sure to check your blind spots before you switch lanes.

Give Yourself Enough Time

Plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to arrive to your destination safely. You’ll be safe and save money on traffic tickets and car insurance.

Be Prepared

You should always be prepared for a roadside emergency. Have a well stocked emergency kit in your car at all times. You should also make sure that you have an inflated spare tire and jack, and know how to safely change a flat.

See our expert tips!

 

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Engine Oil Change and Fluid Level Check
There are many people out there that consider themselves DIYers. They would rather do things themselves than pay someone else to do it. Vehicle maintenance is one of those tasks that many of us try to do ourselves. While there are some things that should be left to the professionals, there are certain maintenance items that any DIYer can do.

Engine Oil and Filter Change

An engine oil and filter change needs to be performed regularly. That expense can add up over the long term. You can save a few dollars doing an oil change yourself. It is relatively simple to perform and does not require a lot of special tools. If you do decided to perform an oil change yourself, make sure to keep records of it. These records will come in handy not only when you decided to trade-in or sell the vehicle, they might be needed should you need a major repair performed that is covered under your factory warranty or extended warranty, if applicable.

Fluid Level Check

There are many components of your vehicle that require some sort of fluid. From your windshield washer to the brakes to the transmission. These levels need to be checked to ensure that each component has the correct amount of fluid in order to operate correctly. The transmission and engine both have a dip stick that allows you to check the fluid easily. The brakes, power-steering pump, coolant, and windshield washer fluid all have reservoirs that can be easily accessed checked. It is advised to refer to your owner’s manual to see what type of fluid is needed for each system and how much is needed.
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