American drivers might be tempted to ignore small details as they see rising food and heating costs. You might be able to wait for your dentist appointment or have the tires rotated according to schedule. However, putting off routine maintenance can cause expensive problems.

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence is a nonprofit organization that certifies repair and automotive technicians. It suggests that drivers read the owners manuals of their vehicles to winterize them. These are some issues drivers need to fix before the cold weather strikes:

Engine problems. Cold weather can only make stalling, rough idling, and hard starts worse. You should consult a technician as soon as you notice engine trouble.

Dirty filters. Dirty filters are a waste of gas and can put additional stress on your vehicle’s components. If necessary, check your fuel, air and PVC filters.

– Oil. Check the oil and filter regularly to extend the engine’s life.

– The cooling system. You can’t ignore the cooling system of your truck or car when it’s cold outside. You should check the coolant’s level, condition, concentration and levels regularly. The condition and tightness the drive belts, clamps, hoses should be checked by a certified technician.

– The heater or defroster. You must ensure that they are in top condition to avoid dangerous window fogging.

– The battery. Only an auto technician equipped with the right equipment can detect a low battery. Routine battery care can be performed by technicians, such as cleaning cables and posts, and tightening any connections.

– Exhaust system. Make sure your vehicle has a functioning exhaust system.

Tires. Winter driving is unsafe if your tires are worn out. Check your tires for cuts and nicks, as well as uneven wear patterns. If the car is not hot, check your tires once a month.

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