Just because we don’t live in Cleveland from where our new L.A. Lakers player LeBron James hailed doesn’t mean we don’t experience some colder days and nights here in Los Angeles during the winter months. And for those who love to do a mini road trip up north to Big Bear Resort, Mammoth Mountain, or Lake Tahoe for winter ski adventures, colder temperatures are expected — and welcomed. Colder driving conditions – even a small decline in the temperature – can negatively impact a vehicle that has been performing just fine all summer long. To ensure your BMW or MINI Cooper is still running at peak performance this upcoming season, here are some winterization tips and tune-ups:
Check your BMW’s Battery
The colder the temperature outside, the less cranking power your vehicle’s battery gets. If your vehicle has a conventional battery, you can remove the plastic caps located on the top of it and then check the fluid level. If the fluid level is low, you’ll need to add distilled water. If your vehicle has a maintenance-free battery, you can check that the window on the top of the battery is indicating that it is fully charged. If it isn’t, you’ll want to have your battery professionally tested at The HAUS to see if it needs to be charged or if it’s defective and needs to be replaced. If you don’t keep your vehicle’s battery in good shape, it could go completely dead when you are far from home.
Check your MINI Cooper’s Brakes
If your vehicle’s brakes are squeaking often, its brake pads may be wearing down and need to be replaced. In addition, you’ll want to check your brake fluid to make sure it’s filled.
Check your BMW’s Tires
Make sure the treads on your car’s tires aren’t worn down. If you don’t feel like inserting a penny into the grooves (with Lincoln’s head facing down) to check if you are able to see all of Lincoln’s head (which will indicate that your tires are not balding), then take your car over to The HAUS and have the team of certified technicians check your tires for you (with our professional measuring tools!) If your tires are bald or balding, you’ll want to replace them before you head to your ski resort this winter. In addition to checking the treads on your tire, you’ll also want to check the air pressure on each tire. If your BMW doesn’t have the system that automatically indicates on your dashboard what each tire’s pressure is, you’ll have to do it manually. Be sure that all of your tires are at the manual’s recommended pressure.
In the colder weather, older oil will be more sluggish. You don’t want that. You can avoid this by replacing your oil on a routine basis – or more frequently if you travel a lot or are planning a road trip this winter.
Check your Wiper Blades
It won’t matter how well your vehicle’s brakes, battery, or tires are functioning if you can’t see out your window! Check your wiper blades to ensure they are operating correctly and not leaving any streaks or scratches on your windshield, as this may indicate they are in disrepair.
Create a Safety Kit
Although you may never need it, you’ll be grateful that you took the time to put a safety kit together to keep in your car if you do need it. This kit should include: a working flashlight, a blanket, leather gloves, a knit hat, a small shovel, a bag of sand, a leak-proof container of coolant, some bottles of water, and some snacks.