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Preventative Winter Vehicle Maintenance

When the temperatures drop, the chances of something going wrong with your vehicle increase. The bottom line is that winter is tough on cars and trucks, and the harsher the climate, the worse it becomes.

As temperatures warm up, you may find yourself with a host of issues stemming from winter's harsh climate. Prevent winter damage with simple maintenance along the way.


If your area sees lots of snow and ice in the winter, then you have probably seen the highway department spreading salt on the road to melt the ice. Unfortunately, salt can also leave damaging effects on just about every component of your vehicle.


Wash & Wax

If not removed by a thorough washing, salt can seriously damage the finish and cause rust, with the underside being the most susceptible. A good coat of wax before a harsh winter will provide excellent protection. Once temperatures rise above 40°F, remove built up road grime, wax, and reseal.

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Interior Accessories


The salt we track into a car can be just as damaging. It attracts and absorbs moisture, so if floor mats aren't in place, serious floor rusting could occur. Invest in some heavy rubber floor pads for added protection.

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Visibility & Lighting


Headlight assemblies can be seriously corroded by salt and sand. Additionally, wiper blades take quite a beating. As the temperatures rise, thoroughly inspect both and replace as necessary. You don't want to be stuck in a downpour to discover your headlights or wiper blades were damaged during the harsh winter months.

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Brakes and Fuel Lines

Brake Hoses & Fuel Lines

Salt will corrode and weaken both. Inspect both regularly and replace as necessary.

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Shocls and Struts

Shocks & Struts

Salt is tough on the roadways and is most often used during harsh conditions that cause suspension-killing potholes to appear. If your car or truck starts taking a nose dive when you apply the brakes, sways or leans to one side when lane changing, or you have poor steering response in general, it's time for a replacement.

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Temperature variations in general take a toll on many vehicle components as well. A system check on these parts will keep you from getting stranded:

Belts and Hoses

Belts & Hoses

Nearly one-third of all cars and trucks have belts or hoses that need to be replaced. Changes in temperatures cause them to become weakened or brittle and unfortunately, hoses usually fail from the inside out. Replacing them at regularly scheduled intervals is your best bet for reliability.

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Whether it's extreme heat or extreme cold, weather conditions always take a toll on your vehicle's battery. Stop by O'Reilly Auto Parts to get yours tested regularly, for free.

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Overall, preventative and regularly scheduled maintenance on your car or truck is always a good road to follow, and the professional parts people at O'Reilly Auto Parts are always there to help. When you're ready, you'll find the parts and the tools you need to get the job done right, the first time. We have thousands of parts in stock, all at guaranteed low prices. O'Reilly Auto Parts. Better Parts... Better Prices, Everyday!

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