Now that we’re well into fall, Long Island residents are preparing for what lurks around the corner: Winter. There’s a lot that needs to get done in preparation for the coldest time of year, particularly when it comes to vehicles. Winter brings its own host of problems including ice, slush, road salt, and frigid temperatures, so it is highly recommended that you take the time to ensure that your Toyota is prepared and ready to handle everything that winter can throw at it. To make that task a little easier, we here at Westbury Toyota wrote up a quick and easy list of tips you can follow to get your vehicle in top shape before the snow starts to fall.
When inclement weather looms, one of the first things that might be an issue is visibility. Falling snow, slush, or fog can make it very hard to see while driving, and that’s why it’s imperative that your windshield and your windshield wipers are in good condition. Cracks in a windshield can widen or lengthen when the weather drops below freezing, particularly when the heater is running, so if you’ve got a crack or two now is the time to replace it.
Wiper blades are typically good for about a year, and it’s usually pretty easy to tell when they need replacing because they will start making noises when wiping or will start to leave streaks. The final thing on your visibility checklist is winter washer fluid so that there’s no freezing in the reservoir once the temperature drops.
There’s a lot of debate regarding winter tires. Many people think they aren’t a necessity and that may be true for people who don’t spend a lot of time driving. However, for anyone who has a lengthy daily commute, winter tires are advisable. As Jenny Stanley of Family Handyman points out, winter tires provide a lot more traction in snow than other tire types, allowing you to stop as much as 48 percent faster. The cost of buying winter tires and then having them put on might be a prohibitive to some, but when you consider the skid reduction and overall increase in handling in snowy weather, it’s worth it in the long run.
There’s nothing more annoying than when water seeps between the weather stripping and the vehicle door, resulting in the door freezing shut. To avoid this, there’s a simple fix: Lube the weather stripping. Use a silicone spray and coat the weather stripping as well as the door surfaces paired to them. The easiest (and cleanest) way to do this is to spray the lubricant on a rag and then apply it to the stripping and the door that way.
Door locks are also prone to freezing, although this is more of a problem with older vehicles that don’t have keyless entry. You can buy lock lubricant for this express reason or in a pinch you can use dry Teflon spray lube. All you need to do is spray the lubricant directly into the lock cylinder to ensure that it’s working smoothly and won’t run the risk of freezing.
Cold weather affects a lot of different parts of your vehicle, and the battery is not excluded. If ever you’re in a situation where you need a boost but the battery connections and posts are corroded, you could be in serious trouble. To prevent that scenario from happening, explains Laura T. Coffey of Today, take the time this fall to clean up the corroded battery posts and connections. It’s not hard to do on your own as you can make a solution out of baking soda and hot water and use a toothbrush to scrub all the battery parts that are corroded.Another thing to keep in mind is that batteries that are more than three years old can have difficulties maintaining a charge. If you are worried that the battery in your Toyota might start to fail, you can always bring it into our service department and we'll be more than happy to test it for you.
Winter’s an unfortunate part of living in Long Island and while it can create issues from time to time for drivers, it doesn’t have to make driving unpleasant for the duration of the season. Taking the steps to make your Toyota winter ready can reduce risk and ensure that you’re driving as safe as you can be, so don’t wait until the snow is already on the ground. You’ll be glad you did the first time you have to drive in winter conditions.