Driving in the Oregon Rain

I love that we are finally transitioning into a classic Oregon fall with all this rain!  What I don’t like is getting my car ready to drive in the rain because I always wait until after the fact.  Luckily for me, and anyone else who happens to be a preventative maintenance (PM) procrastinator, it’s actually pretty easy. 

Most prep for winter driving is pretty standard and part of regular maintenance.   There are just a couple of things to add when rain and snow are in the mix.  

  1. Get your oil changed, if it’s due.  You’ll tend to have a bit more stop and go traffic with bad weather so neglecting this could really make a huge difference this time of year

  2. Get your battery tested.  The last thing you want on a cold, dark, rainy night while you’re thinking about sweatpants and a nice hot meal is being stuck on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck.  

  3. Make sure your heater and defrost settings work.  Cold and foggy make for a scary ride!

  4. Check your tires.   You’ll want to make sure your tire pressure is correct and that your tires have enough tread for the tough weather. With de-icers, sand, and other road debris, your tires will be working hard. For the ladies who attended our Women’s Car Care Clinic now’s the time to whip out your handy-dandy keychain tool and check those tires!

  5. Make sure your brakes are working properly.  You’ll probably have a few more sudden stops and if you want to keep those scary situations close calls and not accidents, make sure your brakes can handle the rain.  Not sure what to look for?   Follow these tips and signs: http://www.newageautorepair.com/#/brakerepair/

  6. Check your lights & clean lenses.  Make sure all your bulbs work, so people can see you.  On the same token, make sure the outer lenses are clear and clean so you can see out!

  7. Replace worn windshield wipers.   Depending on where you live, wiper blades don’t last forever.  You should replace them once a year at a MINIMUM, but if they smear, streak, or just don’t clear your windshield anymore, it’s time to give them the boot.

  8. Think about a rain repellant treatment. This is not a requirement, but I find this incredibly helpful.  I recommend a product like RainX or Trico.  It’s like wax for your windshield.  It’s really nice if you do a lot of night driving.  You can almost completely get away with not using your windshield wipers!


    Well that’s a pretty good list, so if you’ve checked these off your PM list, you’re ready to brave the elements and finish your holiday shopping!