In spite of the Valley temps currently still exceeding 100 degrees, it will not be long before night comes early and temperatures begin dropping. As we all know winter is not a good time to have vehicle trouble.
Just as cold weather takes its toll on a vehicle, so do the hot Valley summers in California. Just the other day, my MINI reminded me that I really should think about checking those windshield wiper blades. Flying down the freeway after a long day at work, with the radio playing our favorite tunes and the AC blasting cool air, my sweetie took it upon herself to engage her “early detection windshield wiper blade failure system”. She did this by spontaneously waiving strips of the wiper blade at me as I drove along. Being the considerate little lady that she is and safety minded as well, she only waved at me from the passenger side of the car; not enough to distract my driving, but enough to get my attention as if to say, “excuse me, but we really need to address this before the first rain storm.” That was on Thursday; on Sunday, I took MINImowse to see Dr. Steve and he fitted her with new blades. By Monday night, we had our first thunder-storm and rain in months. Is my baby good or what; not only is she great fun to drive but she obviously watches the weather channel and keeps us motoring safely!
Although California doesn’t have the extreme weather of the East Coast, it’s still a good idea to check your car before entering the Fall and Winter seasons. Therefore, although I have shared this post before, it is always a good idea to review your car using our 12 point checklist.
12 point Weatherization Checklist
- Tune up the motor. (Check your Air, Oil and Fuel filters, including new spark plugs, ignition cap, rotor and wires as necessary. Ignition system needs to be in top shape to battle the cold. )
- Check the anti-freeze. (Only fill with premium brand anti-freeze, make sure to check your owner’s manual for proper anti-freeze type.)
- Check all other fluid levels and fill as needed. (Brake Fluid, Oil, etc.)
- Fill wiper fluid reservoir with de-icing solution.
- Check the battery. (You can load test your battery at any local auto parts store or have your MINI’s doctor assist you.)
- Check the tread and air pressure of tires. (You want to insure good grip on the slick roads, also good for the gas mileage of your vehicle.)
- Inspect the brakes. (Quick visual inspection will give you peace of mind driving in cold harsh conditions.)
- Install good windshield wiper blades. (Good wipers will keep your windshield free and clear.)
- Check headlights and signal lights. (A good idea every time you wash your car as one last detailing item.)
- Check belts and hoses, replace as necessary. (Any cracks will only get worse in the cold weather, leading to more expensive repairs.)
- Ensure heater and defroster are in good working condition.
- And last but not least -
We suggest you keep a Cold Weather Kit in your trunk
A Cold Weather Kit contains the following: a shovel, snow chains, an ice scraper, flares, a blanket, a first aid kit, candles, non-perishable food items, warm gloves, boots, a flashlight, and a cell phone if you live where it snows or if traveling through areas where it could snow.
Although our MINIs are a blast to drive in all weather conditions, and can pretty much handle whatever Mother Nature chooses to throw at them, do remind them that we all have our limits. As much as my MINImowse loves to splash in puddles, I have made it very clear to her that she cannot swim. They may not want to hear it, but MINIs do have limits too.