Tag Archives: oil change

car maintenance tips winter

Winter Car Maintenance: Top 6 Preps for Cold-Weather Driving

Winter car maintenance tips: Winter is tough on cars and trucks. If you live in San Diego, you don’t have to worry about preparing for cold weather, but the rest of us have to get our cars ready. Whether you’re a Uber driver, mom-taxi, commuter, or traveler, here’s our list of the top ways to prepare your car for Winter driving:

Top 6 Winter Preps for Your Car:

1. Change your Oil

Changing your oil might be the most important way to prepare your car for Winter. Be sure to use synthetic or conventional multi-grade viscosity oil for cold-weather driving.

Tip: Local garages often have coupons online for oil changes. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty and performing an oil change yourself, top stores like Advance Auto have oil change specials saving you big on oil and filter bundles at their local store locations.

2. Test Your Battery

Winter weather puts car batteries to the test. Do you know how long your battery should last? A lot of people who bought off-brand batteries or tried to squeeze too many years of use out of their old batteries find out the hard way that their battery wasn’t ready for winter.

Tip: Get your car battery tested for free in the Fall at top stores like Advance Auto (free services) and AutoZone. If you need a new one, use one of our coupons for AutoZone or Advance Auto to save up to 30% on a new battery. These stores should also install your new battery for free.

3. Change Your Windshield Wipers

winter car preparation tips

Have you ever realized during the season’s first snow storm that your wipers are shot? It’s a terrible feeling to hear them squeaking while you crane your neck, hunched-over squinting out the clear part of the windshield at the snow and slush. Free wiper installation is another free service of top automotive stores Advanced Auto, AutoZone, and Pep Boys.

Tip: Be sure that your windshield wiper fluid is rated for extremely cold temperatures. That really cheap blue wiper fluid that most people use is fine most of the time, but when temperatures drop below freezing, it actually can freeze solid in your lines, rendering your wipers useless.

*Tip: Learn how to change your windshield wipers

4. Check Your Antifreeze

The radiator in your car cools your engine and needs antifreeze to work. If necessary, you should add more antifreeze or perform a flush and fill. Here’s how to check your antifreeze level.

*Related: Tax tips for Uber & Lyft drivers

5. Perform an Engine Tune-Up

Have a technician at a trusted local garage or auto shop evaluate the condition of your spark plugs to ensure that your engine is going to fire up and perform on cold Winter days.

Tip: Tune ups can be expensive! I recommend checking coupons for local garages that might be in Valpak, SpinSaver, Groupon, or other local mailings and websites. If you find a good one, check online reviews to make sure it’s a trusted location that customers are happy with.

6. Prepare a Winter Survival Kit

“It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.”

You should always have a survival kit in your car for the unexpected. Your survival kit should include:

  • A flashlight
  • Blankets
  • Road flares
  • Jumper cables
  • First Aid Kit
  • A roll of duct tape (No, not to keep the kids quiet!) 

Also, sometimes you can’t prevent the unexpected, so know how to jumpstart a car. For more tips, read our article on how to prepare your own emergency survival kit for your car.


Winter Is Tough on Cars & Trucks

Winter cold and salt can be a nightmare for your car. If you perform the aforementioned maintenance tips, you’ll be prepared for the Winter months.

vintage pin up car gir flat tire

8 Oil Change Specials from Advance Auto Parts: Save Up to $20

advance auto parts logoOil Change Specials: Every month, Advance Auto Parts posts “full synthetic” and “conventional” oil change specials on their site that are good in-store only. They’ve become very popular, as it ends up being the cheapest way to get top brand motor oils and filters together. With each special you can often choose your own oil and filter from specific brands, so that you ensure you are getting exactly what you want, while saving up to 25% on the cost.


sample oil change specials

What Are Oil Change Specials at Advance Auto Parts?

vintage pin up car girl with wrench

changing your own oil is easy!

Each oil change special includes everything you need to change your own oil at home. These specials are for in-store only, and aren’t valid online. (Oil isn’t the best thing to ship by mail, especially when you see those videos of the delivery guys throwing boxes around!) They also have full synthetic and high mileage oil change specials with top names like Pennzoil, Valvoline, and Castrol.

Remember that you can’t usually buy oil or petroleum products online, as they would be too potentially dangerous to ship!

OK. What makes their Oil Change “Specials” such a good deal?

Basically, when you buy the motor oil and filter together you save a significant amount. I just checked their latest oil change specials, and it looks like for their synthetic and high mileage oil specials, you’re looking at about a $10 discount on Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic oil and Fram filter. That drops the price from $43 down to about $32, which makes you feel pretty special! Also look for additional mail in rebates, which can discount the price even more. If available, they will be mentioned prominently within the special itself.

Why should I do an oil change myself anyway?

oil change guy

This is Sugar Bear

As mentioned already, the most obvious reason to get everything that you need at once in one of these “specials” is to save money. You might be asking why these so-called “specials” are more expensive than the “$19.99 oil change” that you see a sign for in that dirty little garage on the way to work. Well, it’s because this hands-down better oil than you would get included in a cheap oil change. Advance Auto offers full synthetic and high mileage oil change specials, as well as the option to easily upgrade to premium oil filters. (Usually only about $2 to do so)

Also, sometimes it’s good to get your hands dirty. Knowledge is power, and changing your own oil is often the first step in being more handy with your car, which is a good thing.

So, to summarize, it’s often better to change your own oil, getting high-quality synthetic oil and everything else that you need from your local Advance Auto Parts instead of dropping your car off at a dirty garage for three hours while a toothless bearded guy named, “Sugar Bear” pours used vegetable oil into your engine while telling you that you have a “purdy mouth.”

Just check out their oil change kits already! Most of the time they are included in this month’s in-store flyer. Also, don’t forget to grab a coupon or promo code that can save you up to 40% on anything you buy online. (Printable coupons available at times also)