• Rolf's Car Care Tips
Rolf's Fall Prep
Car Care Checklist ...
 Now is the best time - and Rolf's Auto Care is the best place - to get ready for winter and the freezing weather. Winterizing your car will save you money, by improving your vehicle's fuel efficiency, performance and reliability.

 We want you to have a safe and happy winter season. Whether you're a do-it-yourselfer, or need some help from our experienced technicians, below are the most important areas that need to be checked out: The coupon on our specials page will save you $25 on any inspection or repair. You may also want to check out our other fall & winter service specials while you're at it!

 

1.    Good tires are a must in our Chicago winters. All-season tires on all wheels with good treads should be adequate for most city driving. But check your tire pressure regularly - for every 18ºF of temperature drop, tire pressure goes down by one pound. Don't forget to check the spare!
2.    Batteries work harder when it's cold, and winter can compromise cranking performance up to 60 percent. Test and replace old or weak batteries, especially those more than three years old. It will be cheaper than a tow and replacement on the road.
3.    Check out the entire cooling system: radiator, coolant, belts and hoses, cooling fans, heater core and water pump. If it hasn't been done in a while, have your cooling system flushed out with a good chemical cleaner and put in new anti-freeze. Also check reservoirs, pressure cap and thermostat.
4.    A checkup will uncover all that heavy summer driving wear & tear. Inspect the brake system, including lines, hoses, and parking brake. Inspect brake fluid for proper level. Low brake fluid can be an indication of excessive brake wear or fluid leak. Inspect and measure brake linings & pads.
5.    Properly functioning headlamps and tail lamps play an important role in safe driving, especially at nighttime, or in rainy, foggy & snowy conditions. Inspect and test all exterior lamps and lights, including turn signals and hazard lights to ensure they are in proper working order and alignment.
6.    Install good wiper blades and use cold weather washer fluid. This ensures you can keep your windshield clean and have good visibility of the road and traffic around you.
7.   Have your heater & defrosters checked to make sure they are operational.

We also strongly recommend to lubricate your door locks and apply silicone to all door rubbers and seals - all part of Rolf's Auto Care's standard winterizing service
8.    These play an important part in the proper function and performance of your engine. Prevent breakdowns or serious engine damage by replacing belts and hoses at recommended intervals. Checking and replacing the fuel & air filters is also key to ensuring the engine is running at its optimal level and maximizes fuel economy.
9.    In preparation for the harsh winter conditions we recommend checking all the stuff that holds the wheels to the rest of your car and keeps the tires in good contact with the road. That means shocks, struts and the front end, including ball joints, tie rods and your steering components.
10.    Make sure there is plenty of gas in your tank at all times. A full tank minimizes condensation, which may cause the gas line to freeze shut in winter. During extreme cold periods using a gasoline antifreeze additive is not a bad idea.
11.    A diagnostic check-up of the engine can be a good pre-winter investment. If you're due for a tune-up, have it done before winter sets in. Faulty wiring, worn spark plugs, injectors or emission control devices that need attention, can all lead to hard starting.
12.    Check the muffler and tail pipe system for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when the windows are closed.
13.     Want to be ready for most situations? The following items can help with that:

• Windshield scraper and snow brush
• Lightweight shovel
• Bag of sand, wire traction mat or abrasive substance
• Large box of facial tissues
• Properly inflated spare tire
• Wheel wrench and jack
• First aid kit
• Flashlight
• Flares
• Battery jumper cables

For long distance travel take extra precautions: bring a blanket, candles, lighter or matches, emergency snacks and drinks, lined winter boots, hat and other warm clothes.
14.    Last, but not least ... drive defensively! Winter driving demands extra caution. Always be ready for the unsafe actions of other drivers and for poor driving conditions. Clear the snow and ice from your car, allow more travel time, leave even more space between you and the car in front and know how to deal with icy conditions.