November 9

Is Your Volvo Ready For Winter?

As your Volvo mechanic will certainly tell you, readying your Volvo for winter is an important part of keeping it safe and efficient. If you live with winter, as we do here in Reno, you and your auto both need to be prepared for lower temps and different driving conditions. Prepping for winter doesn’t have to be a complicated process, though. Read on for the basics.

Make Sure Your Volvo Will Start!

Cold winter temperatures pull more current and can weaken batteries, so you want to start strong. Make sure your battery is as healthy as it can be – there’s nothing more depressing than listening to your starter becoming sluggish on a cold morning. Here’s what to check:

    • Is your battery getting old? Fall might be a good time to replace it.

    • Use a wire brush to clean any accumulated crud from the terminals.

    • Make sure the attached wires have a strong connection.

    •  If you’re in any doubt, stop in at SAS Automotive Repair in Reno – a certified Volvo mechanic can ensure your battery is up to the job, or replace it if that’s what’s needed. 

…And Be Sure It Will Stop, Too!

Winter driving will thoroughly test your traction, and you don’t want your tires to lose their grip when driving on icy surfaces. Checking tires and brakes will also reduce the risk of getting stuck in the snow. Here’s what to look for:

    • Is the tire tread worn down too low for safety? (Use the Penny Test – put a penny upside down in the tread depression. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace those tires!) Remember, a timely investment in tires can save you a lot of accident-related time and money.

    • If you drive an older model Volvo with rear-wheel-drive, winter-specific tires may be a good idea. Winter tires are designed to maximize their grip on the snow and retain their elasticity longer.

    • Check your tire pressure to be sure it’s where it should be – your Volvo mechanic may recommend that you keep tires slightly under-inflated when driving in snow and ice, as this gives your tires more contact with the road and can improve traction. If you’re not sure about the best pressure for your tires, SAS Automotive’s Volvo experts will be happy to tell you. 

    • Check your brakes! Brake parts undergo tremendous wear and corrosion, and just like your tires, winter snow and ice will repeatedly test your brakes. It’s not a bad idea to have them professionally inspected in the fall. Just call SAS Automotive to schedule a thorough brake safety check.

Don’t Forget The Basics

There are a few other important tasks you’ll want to complete before the temps drop and the snow flies:

    • If your windshield wipers are worn or frayed, this is a good time to replace them.

    • Switch to a winter-grade wiper fluid, fill the reservoir, and make sure you have extra wiper fluid in the car.

    • Consider picking up a spare set of replacement wipers, and store them in your car too.

    • Be sure your heating systems – radiator, heater and defroster – are working correctly.

    • If you don’t use your heater often, make sure the controls are behaving properly and that autumn leaves haven’t clogged access areas.

    • Add or replace your current coolant with a winter-appropriate grade.

    • If it hasn’t been done in awhile, fall can be a good time to have your Volvo mechanic flush and refill your radiator system.

If you have concerns about any of these important tasks – or would rather have your Volvo maintenance and repairs done by a professional – don’t hesitate to contact your Volvo mechanic at SAS Automotive Repair in Reno. We can check all these systems, make any necessary repairs, and ensure that your Volvo is thoroughly ready for cold weather!


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