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How drivers can prepare for winter roads

Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 10:48:22 AM

While November may be the month for Thanksgiving and the last of fall foliage, December - and the accumulation of snow - is right around the corner. According to AAA, the period after Daylight Saving Time can be perfect for some winter auto maintenance.

Recently, Home Loan Investment Bank's Christine Dikdan offered some crucial tips for drivers and vehicle buyers alike at this time of year. She explained that November provides the perfect opportunity to get a full vehicle inspection and have all required maintenance performed.

"For New Englanders, this is a chilly wake-up call for what lies ahead," Dikdan noted. "You do not want to be stuck on the highways or streets going to Grandma's house for something that could have been prevented. Don't be the turkey on the side of the road."

While buyers are often focused on auto financing, budgeting and other economic factors of vehicle ownership, once that car is driven off the lot it is important to keep it maintained. This November, Dikdan suggested everyone stop by their local mechanic.

"All fluids, belts, brakes and oil should be changed, if required," she recommended. "Your vehicle check engine light should also be diagnosed and repaired. Your vehicle should be properly aligned and tires rotated and replaced if necessary. If you don't have good sneakers, you may find yourself on the sidelines of the turkey trot."

While not everyone buys a car with winter in mind, it is important to plan ahead for this season. Dikdan pointed out that online reviews and pricing comparisons are crucial parts of the research process, and it is vital that consumers check out what other drivers have to say about a certain vehicle.

"If a vehicle you are looking at has positive reviews, and it's a vehicle you want, by all means go out and visit the dealer and test drive one," she said. "The end of the year is a great time to buy a vehicle. The dealers are competing with the big man in the red suit."

With this advice in hand, you can hit the roads this winter with confidence.