By Bob Weber
Special to the Chicago Tribune
October 26, 2008
Windows: Apply water repellent to windshield and windows to keep them free of slush, salt and muck.
Doors, hatches and trunks: Apply silicone oil or grease to all door, hatch and trunk-lid gaskets to preserve the rubber and prevent them from freezing shut.
Tires and brakes: Install winter tires (if you choose) or rotate your all-seasons. Inspect the brake pads (disc brakes) or shoes (drum brakes) while tires are off. If they are scored or worn, replace them. Check the air pressure on all tires, including the spare. In winter, tires lose 1 pound of pressure for each 10-degree drop in temperature. Look for worn or uneven treads. Honest, Abe can help. Put a penny upside down in the tread and if any of Lincoln's hairline shows, replace the tires. Some folks use a quarter, letting George Washington be their guide.
Paint: Use professional touchup paint to seal any scratches or dings. After washing the car, wax and polish it.
Locks and hinges: A graphite-based or synthetic lubricant is recommended for locks, oil for hinges.
Lights and light bulbs: Turn the lights on and walk around the vehicle to check for burned-out bulbs; owner's manuals list replacements. Don't forget the high beams. Make sure headlights are aimed properly.