Summer prep means winter Fun

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Steven Milligan
  • 52nd Logistics Readiness Squadron
The long, bright, beautiful days of summer are soon coming to an end. Say goodbye to the warm weather, medieval festivals and barbecues in short sleeves, and say hello to the holidays! The warmth may be slowly going away but that doesn't mean there is nothing left to look forward to. Just around the corner you've got skiing in the Alps, Christmas festivals and plenty of gluhwein to go around, but the only thing worse than having your car break down in the heat of summer is having it break down in the cold of winter--so why not prepare a little early?

Germany is known for its cold winters, and with a cold winter comes a dead battery. Most car shops have battery testers. If you haven't replaced it in a while it would be a good idea to take it in and get it tested. Generally a battery will be replaced every four to six years. If the car you are driving around is new to you definitely go get it tested.

Every year we are reminded that we need to make sure we have snow tires on our cars. Without the extra tread built into a snow tire, we can easily slide off the windy European roads and end up in a bad car accident. If your tires are looking old and the tread is worn down, it's better to be safe than sorry. Take them in and get them looked at.

Check those fluids! It can be easy to forget about your car's fluids during the cold dead of winter. If your coolant is old or not working properly it can freeze up and do some serious damage to your car. Test strips can be easily purchased at your local car shop or even on Amazon. The same goes for windshield wiper fluid. With cold weather comes snow and with snow comes black ice and dirty windshields. Make sure to buy extra windshield wiper fluid that will not freeze in the winter and fill it regularly.

It is also a good idea to get your oil changed before the weather goes bad. When four in the afternoon looks just like four in the morning it can be all too easy to forget about the oil and just want to head home. Before you know it the whole winter is gone and your car is begging for some new oil. So why not get it done while it's warm and possibly only have to do one more change during the winter.

Most oil-changing services recommend coming in every three months or 3,000 miles. If you do it yourself this is a great time to check your fluids and air filter. If not, make sure the oil service you go to will check these things for you.

For a great winter, take a little time during the summer to prepare. Rather than being stuck in the cold with a dead battery or bad tires, you'll be enjoying all the great activities winter has to offer.