Auto Repair St. Louis, Brakes, Tires, Suspension, Alignment


Prepping Your Car For The Upcoming Winter With Jammin’ J Auto

Winter can be an extremely testing time for cars and drivers alike. A lot of common winter-specific problems, such as frozen doors, dead batteries, corrosion caused by increased humidity, lower air pressure in your tires, unresponsive spark plugs, etc., are forgotten about throughout the rest of the year.

Therefore, preparing your car in advance for the winter months can save you money and a great deal of grief. Thankfully, here at Jammin’ J Auto, St. Louis’ premiere Auto Suspension & Power Steering repair shop, we can take care of your vehicle’s pre-winter tune-up and save you money at the same time.

Our team of expert techs can take a quick look at your car, and in a matter of minutes come up with a list of issues that, if taken care of in advance of the winter months, will make your life easier.

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail, so take a look at the list below and prep your car for this upcoming winter.

Prepping Your Car For The Upcoming Winter With Jammin’ J Auto
Prepping Your Car For The Upcoming Winter With Jammin’ J Auto



During the winter months, there is increased precipitation in the form of rain, sleet, and snow, which significantly increases your vehicle’s brake time, your risk of losing control of your vehicle, and of having a dangerous accident. So, having safe tires, with substantial tread should be one of your top priorities when thinking of prepping your vehicle for the winter months.

New tires will decrease your vehicle’s brake time in the winter months and increase your safety while on the slippery roads.

Swing by Jammin’ J Auto, St Louis’ top brake service shop, and ask about getting some proper tires for this winter.



Your car battery is one of the most important components in it; after all, it is responsible for starting the engine. When the temperature drops, the possibility of your battery malfunctioning increases substantially to the point where your vehicle starting normally won’t be a reliable event.

This is why all repairmen recommend getting your car battery checked at least twice a year, especially after its third year of use. Here at Jammin J Auto, we can do a thorough check any time of not only the battery, but the entire starting and charging system.  Doing special checks before the  winter months can only help you prevent being stranded.

So bring your car around in the fall, a few weeks before winter, and we’ll do a specialized stress test using our top of the line diagnostic equipment.



Why would you need to check your shock absorbers before the winter.

Your vehicle’s shock absorbers control its stability and affect its braking distance. Since winter months roads tend to be wetter, your car’s stability and braking distance become significantly more important.

For example, bad shock absorbers can decrease your car’s stability by up to 40% on a curve, and increase your braking distance by up to 30% in an emergency braking situation.

Shock absorber efficiency will begin to decline after about 50,000 miles, but getting them checked prior to the winter season is a good idea regardless of the mileage on your car.

Road Trip Readiness

Checklist Overview

A prepping checklist is vital for a successful road trip, ensuring you don’t miss any crucial steps. It covers key areas like fluids, tires, lights, brakes, and emergency equipment. The checklist plays a crucial role in ensuring car readiness before hitting the road.

Vehicle Inspection

Regular vehicle inspections are essential to maintain safety and prevent breakdowns on the road. Components such as fluid levels, tire pressure, brakes, lights, and belts should be thoroughly inspected. These inspections offer safety benefits by identifying potential issues early.

Essential Items

Every car should have essential items like a spare tire, jack, jumper cables, and a first aid kit. A spare tire is crucial for replacing a flat tire quickly. Jumper cables help start a dead battery in emergencies. Keeping these items in the car is vital for preparedness on the road.

Monitor Fluid Levels

Engine Oil

Engine oil is crucial for lubricating the engine parts, ensuring smooth operation and preventing wear and tear. To check the engine oil, locate the dipstick, pull it out, wipe it clean, reinsert it, and then pull it out again to see the oil level. Low engine oil can lead to overheating and permanent engine damage.

Coolant Fluid

Coolant fluid helps regulate the engine temperature, preventing overheating or freezing in extreme conditions. Check coolant levels by inspecting the reservoir when the engine is cool. Top up with a mixture of coolant and water if levels are low. Insufficient coolant can cause engine overheating and potential breakdowns.

Brake Fluid

Brake fluid plays a vital role in transferring force from the brake pedal to the brakes, enabling safe stopping. To check brake fluid levels, locate the reservoir and ensure it’s between the minimum and maximum marks. Driving with low brake fluid can result in brake failure and compromised safety.

Washer Fluid

Washer fluid is essential for maintaining clear visibility by cleaning the windshield while driving. Check washer fluid levels by locating the reservoir under the hood. Refill with a mixture of water and washer fluid as needed. Driving with an empty washer fluid reservoir can reduce visibility during inclement weather.

Inspect Car Battery

Battery Life

A healthy car battery is crucial for smooth vehicle operation and starting. Signs of a failing battery include slow engine cranking and dim lights. To extend battery life, avoid frequent short trips and ensure proper maintenance.

Regularly checking the battery life can prevent unexpected breakdowns. Signs of a failing battery include difficulty starting the engine, especially in cold weather. By keeping the battery clean and securing it properly, you can extend its lifespan.

Connection Check

Checking battery connections is vital for optimal performance. Clean terminals prevent corrosion buildup, ensuring a strong connection. Poor connections can lead to starting issues and electrical problems in your vehicle.

To inspect and clean battery terminals, wear gloves and use a wire brush to remove any corrosion gently. After cleaning, apply petroleum jelly to prevent future corrosion. Poor connections can cause voltage drops, affecting the overall performance of your car’s electrical system.

Examine Tires and Pressure

Pressure Levels

Maintaining correct tire pressure is crucial for optimal performance and safety on the road. Incorrect tire pressure can lead to uneven wear and reduced traction, impacting handling and braking. To check the pressure, use a tire pressure gauge, ensuring it matches the manufacturer’s recommended levels.

Driving with underinflated tires can increase the risk of blowouts, while overinflated tires may result in reduced grip on the road. Adjusting tire pressure according to specifications not only enhances safety but also improves fuel efficiency. Regularly monitoring and maintaining proper tire pressure can extend the lifespan of your tires.

Tread Depth

Adequate tire tread depth is essential for optimal traction, especially in wet or slippery conditions. To measure tread depth, use a tread depth gauge or the penny test method. Insufficient tread depth can lead to hydroplaning, reduced grip, and longer stopping distances.

Driving with worn-out tires increases the likelihood of skidding or losing control, especially in adverse weather conditions. It is vital to replace tires that have reached the minimum tread depth to ensure safe driving. Regularly inspecting tread depth and replacing tires when necessary is crucial for road safety.

Test All Car Lights


Properly functioning headlights are crucial for visibility in low-light conditions and at night. Regularly check for dimming or burnt-out bulbs, replacing them promptly to maintain optimal illumination. Driving with faulty headlights compromises safety by reducing visibility to other drivers.

To check and replace headlights, locate the headlight assembly under the hood. Twist off the bulb socket, remove the old bulb, and insert a new one securely. Ensure the connections are tight before closing the assembly. Neglecting headlight maintenance can lead to accidents due to poor visibility on the road.

Brake Lights

Brake lights play a vital role in signaling your intentions to other drivers, especially when coming to a stop or slowing down. Periodically inspect your brake lights to ensure they illuminate properly when you press the brake pedal. Replace any malfunctioning bulbs promptly to avoid rear-end collisions.

To check and replace brake lights, access the light housing from inside your trunk or underneath the vehicle’s rear exterior. Remove the cover, twist out the old bulb, and insert a new one securely. Properly functioning brake lights enhance road safety by alerting drivers behind you of your braking actions.

Signal Lights

Signal lights are essential for communicating your intention to turn or change lanes while driving. Regularly examine your signal lights to ensure they flash brightly and consistently. Replace any faulty bulbs immediately to comply with traffic regulations and avoid confusion among fellow motorists.

Inspecting and replacing signal lights involves accessing the light housing near your car’s front and rear ends. Twist out the old bulb, insert a new one carefully, and test its functionality by activating your turn signals. Operating with malfunctioning signal lights can result in accidents due to misinterpreted driving maneuvers.

Check Wipers and Washer Fluid

Wiper Blades

Effective wiper blades are crucial for clear visibility during rainy or snowy conditions. They ensure a safe driving experience by wiping off rain, snow, or debris from the windshield. To check them, lift the blades and inspect for any signs of wear such as cracks or tears. Replace them if they are not in optimal condition to avoid streaking or smearing on the windshield.

Driving with worn-out wiper blades can be hazardous as it compromises visibility, especially during heavy rain or snowfall. It can lead to reduced visibility, increasing the risk of accidents on the road. Always ensure your wiper blades are in good condition to maintain clear visibility at all times.

Fluid Level

Maintaining proper fluid levels in your car is essential for its overall performance and longevity. Checking and topping up essential fluids such as washer fluid, engine oil, coolant, and brake fluid is crucial to prevent mechanical issues and breakdowns. Insufficient fluid levels can lead to engine overheating, poor braking performance, or even engine failure.

To check the fluid level, locate the respective reservoirs under the hood and ensure they are filled to the recommended levels. Topping up fluids when necessary helps in smooth vehicle operation and prevents potential damage due to low levels. Driving with inadequate fluid levels can result in mechanical problems, affecting the car’s performance and safety on the road.

Prepare with Essential Items

First Aid Kit

Having a first aid kit in your car is crucial for addressing minor injuries and emergencies. It can be a lifesaver in critical situations. Ensure your first aid kit includes bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, and pain relievers. In case of accidents or injuries on the road, a well-equipped first aid kit can provide immediate assistance.

List of essential items:

A first aid kit can address various emergencies such as cuts, burns, and bruises that may occur during road trips or daily commutes. Being prepared with essential medical supplies can make a significant difference in handling unexpected situations effectively.

Spare Tire

A spare tire plays a vital role in handling unexpected flat tires while driving. It ensures that you can quickly replace a damaged tire and continue your journey safely. Regularly check the condition of your spare tire to ensure it is properly inflated and free from any damages or punctures.

To check the spare tire’s condition, inspect its tread depth and overall inflation level. Make sure to have the necessary tools like a jack and lug wrench to facilitate the tire-changing process efficiently. Having a properly inflated spare tire can prevent delays and keep you prepared for unforeseen circumstances on the road.

Tool Kit

A basic tool kit in your car can be invaluable for resolving common car issues without depending on professional help. Include essential tools like screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, and a flashlight in your tool kit. These tools are versatile and can assist in minor repairs or adjustments when needed.

List of essential tools:

Common car issues such as loose screws, battery changes, or minor part replacements can be resolved promptly with a well-equipped tool kit. Being self-sufficient with basic tools can save time and money by avoiding unnecessary visits to auto repair shops.

Long Trip Viability

Mileage Consideration

When considering long trips, it’s crucial to factor in your car’s mileage for optimal performance. Higher mileage may indicate wear on essential components, necessitating thorough maintenance. Regular oil changes and fluid checks are vital to ensure smooth operation during extended journeys.

Adjusting maintenance based on mileage is key. For high-mileage vehicles, focus on inspecting the engine, brakes, and tires more frequently. Ensure tire pressure is adequate for improved fuel efficiency and safety. Address any unusual noises or vibrations promptly to prevent breakdowns.

Recent Services

Keeping track of recent services is paramount for your car’s longevity and reliability on long trips. Timely servicing enhances overall performance, ensuring your vehicle operates efficiently. Regular services like oil changes, filter replacements, and brake inspections are essential for a well-maintained car.

Scheduling regular maintenance checks can prevent unexpected issues during long trips. Prioritize servicing tasks based on mileage intervals to address wear and tear effectively. Consult with a mechanic for comprehensive inspections before embarking on an extended journey to avoid breakdowns.


The folks at Jammin J Auto, St Louis’ leading repairmen in auto suspension repair, can check your shock absorbers and repair or replace them if necessary.

Winter is coming, and so are a lot of headaches if you keep putting off properly prepping your car for the cold days ahead.