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Winter is on the horizon, and the thought of being stranded on the side of the road in frigid winter weather is enough to make anyone want to hibernate until spring. 

While Georgia isn’t known for its white Christmases, the state does occasionally get wintery weather and icy precipitation. The temperature also dramatically decreases during the winter months. 

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to ensure your vehicle is ready for winter driving in brisk or frigid conditions. 

Here are a few things to do to prepare your Kia for winter driving. 

Get Your Car Serviced

Schedule an appointment to get your car serviced as soon as possible. At ALM Kia South, we can handle all your vehicle’s maintenance and repair needs so it’s ready for winter, 

During your servicing appointment, your mechanic will handle any tasks that your car is due for, like:

Changing the oil
Replacing old air and oil filters
Checking and adding fluids (consider using washer fluid suited for winter weather)
Changing your antifreeze ratio: during the winter months, it’s common to have an antifreeze/water ratio is 60/40

If your mechanic doesn’t typically perform a comprehensive vehicle inspection, ask them to do the following things:

Test your battery: if your battery is nearing the end of its lifespan, consider replacing it now so that you’re not stranded with a dead battery in freezing temperatures
Examine your windshield wipers: replace your worn-out windshield wipers before you find yourself driving in winter precipitation with wipers that barely clear your windshield
Test your heater and defroster: a functioning heater is essential for driving comfortably during cool winter temperatures. Your defroster is useful for quickly clearing away fog or frozen precipitation that impacts your visibility
Examine your breaks: you don’t want to depend on worn-out breaks when trying to stop quickly in icy conditions

Inflate or Replace Your Tires

While you may not need to drive your Kia in a blizzard this winter, you want to be prepared for slick road conditions. 

Check that your tires have at least 4 millimeters of tread so that they can handle slippery roads. 

You should also check your tires’ air pressure. When the temperature drops, this decreases the pressure in your tires. 

Underinflated tires experience more friction; this makes them more likely to overheat and increases your risk of blowing a tire. 

Your tires will also wear unevenly when they’re underinflated; this means that you’ll have to replace them sooner than anticipated.

A Kia with underinflated tires won’t handle as well as a vehicle with properly inflated tires. You may notice that your car shakes or vibrates when your tire pressure is low. 

Examine the tires to confirm that they’re wearing evenly. If you have spots with more wear, this is a sign that your vehicle isn’t properly aligned or that you need to adjust your tires’ pressure.

We have a full tire center at ALM Kia South. Let us help you find the best tires for your Kia. We even have a 24-month Road Hazard Coverage policy that repairs or replaces a tire damaged by a pothole or nail. 

Add a Winter Emergency Kit to Your Kia

Even after you’ve prepared your Kia for winter driving, you may find yourself in a situation where you’re stranded in harsh winter temperatures. 

Accidents and traffic jams are situations where winter driving can leave you stuck and waiting for help. A winter emergency kit helps you stay safe until help arrives. 

Make sure your emergency kit has the following items:

A snow shovel
Ice scraper
Road flares
Rock salt or kitty litter (useful for creating traction on slick roads)
Portable phone charger
Non-perishable snacks 
First-aid kit
Jumper cables

Check Your Headlights

You need your headlights more than ever during the long winter days. Check that none of your bulbs are burnt out and that your headlights are bright.

If your headlights seem dim, this can be a sign that your bulbs are nearing the end of their lifespan. 

Or, your headlight lenses may have oxidation that makes the lenses look foggy and yellow and decreases the illumination of your headlights. 

Depending on your lenses’ condition, you can likely clean them so that they’re not obscuring the beams of your headlights. 

The Bottom Line

A little preparation ensures that your Kia is ready for winter driving. Contact ALM Kia South today to schedule your vehicle’s preventive maintenance

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