Thankfully, on the central California coast, we enjoy a temperate climate. While we do experience some heavy wind and rain events that cause localized trauma--like the devastating Big Sur storms of 2017 that led to that area being effectively isolated for months to the rains and resulting mudslides in the Santa Barbara area last month--we don’t get the kind of deep freeze that regularly occurs in the midwest and east coast of the US.
But you still need to winterize your vehicles. Wet, slippery roads combined with colder temperatures and shorter daylight hours mean we you keep our cars in tip-top shape. And it’s even more vital if you’re planning a trip to the mountains for some fun in the snow. Here are some tips on how to make sure you don’t get stranded in a storm:
Make sure your vehicle is up to date on the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, including oil, coolant, brake, transmission, windshield wiper and steering fluids
Check battery and cables for any signs of wear or corrosion. Batteries can sometimes fail with no notice; regularly keeping an eye on it can avoid being stuck with a car that won’t start.
Have the brake system checked by a reliable, licensed mechanic, such as those at Robert’s Collision and Repair. A brake system in good repair is vital to your and your family’s safety, especially in inclement weather.
Make sure all lights, both interior and exterior, are operating correctly. During long nights, it’s even more important you can see and be seen.
Test your vehicle’s heating system to be sure it’s functioning correctly. A foggy windshield is a dangerous windshield.
Check tires for wear, including the spare. The first rains are especially dangerous because oil that has accumulated during dry times comes to the surface. Good tire tread gives your car a better grip on the road, making you safer.
Inspect hoses and belts for cracks and signs of wear and replace those that need attention.
If you’re headed to the mountains, pack appropriate chains for your car.
It’s a good idea to maintain an emergency kit. Some items include a flashlight and extra batteries, battery jumper cables, a basic first aid kit, a blanket and warm clothing, bottled water, and energy bars, safety flares, a tool kit, and a windshield ice scraper.
These are just a few ideas. For more, visit the pros at Robert’s Collision and Repair at 234 Ramona Ave., Monterey. Make an appointment online at www.roberts-autorepair.com.