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How to Prepare Your Car, SUV, or Truck in Rapid City for Winter

Posted by Steve Michelson on 10/19/15 4:51 PM

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The cold, frigid months of winter in South Dakota tend to be tough on vehicles. Is your new or used car, SUV, or truck ready?

Smart drivers know it's important to prepare for the change of weather and winterize their vehicles accordingly. To avoid the cost and hassle of a breakdown in the cold, there are a few things you can do to ensure safe travels. 

Winterizing Your Car, SUV, or Truck

Sleet, snow, and slush can cause problems for tire traction, and cold weather is hard on a vehicle's battery. Tires with poor tread and an aged battery are dangerous. Rushmore Honda wants you to be prepared. So here's everything you need to do to get your new or used car, SUV, or truck winter-ready.

Check each of the following:

  • Antifreeze 
    If your winter temperatures dip below zero degrees, get your antifreeze checked. Antifreeze turns to acid when it gets too old. The pH should be checked to avoid issues, like gasket failure. 
  • Battery 
    Check the battery cables and terminals to make sure they are clean and tight. A battery can fail without warning, so ask to get it professionally looked over at your next service appointment.
  • Tires
    Tires must have good tread to handle slick and icy streets. Switch to snow tires if you regularly travel through snow. Studded snow tires or chains might be necessary if road conditions are treacherous. Also, colder temperatures will lower tire pressure. Adjust them to a recommended pressure based on your manufacturer's recommendations.
  • Windshield Washer Fluid
    Switch to a washer solution that can withstand cold temperatures and not freeze. Since you'll be traveling on slushy roads more often, you will use your washer fluid more, so be sure to fill it regularly.
  • Wiper Blades
    If your windshield wiper blades are older than six months, it may be time to replace them. Frozen rain and snow could potentially damage or tear washer blades, or worse, damage the wiper motor.
  • Engine Oil 
    Stay on top of oil changes throughout the season. Your owner's manual will have a recommended viscosity of oil specifically for winter temperatures.
  • Four-Wheel Drive
    Does your vehicle have 4WD? If so, check components like locking hubs, the transfer lever, and push button engagement. You wouldn't want to find out your 4WD isn't working during a snow storm.
  • Paint
    It's a good idea to wash your vehicle frequently during the winter. Clean the underneath of the vehicle and wheel wells. A good coat of wax can help keep your vehicle's paint finish looking vibrant.

Investing the time and money now to winterize your vehicle is a wise decision. At Rushmore Honda, we'll gladly check your cars, SUVs, and trucks in Rapid City for you. Schedule a service online or feel free to call us at (605) 348-4468. 

If you're looking to upgrade your vehicle, shop our current inventory of new and used cars, SUVs, and trucks in South Dakota. 

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Topics: Auto Maintenance Tips

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