Meteorologists predict that this year the West Coast will experience a “super” El Niño; perhaps one of the strongest on record. Warmer ocean currents create much wetter storm systems and the potential for torrential downpours. We’ve already seen this happen recently with heavy rainstorms causing flooding and damaging mudslides in many areas of Southern California.
Because of the severe drought, many Southern Californians aren’t used to driving in all this wet weather. It’s no secret that highway accidents multiply exponentially when the rain starts falling. That’s why it’s more important than ever to prepare your vehicle for the coming onslaught of a far wetter than normal winter.
At Simpson Buick GMC, your go-to new and used car Buick GMC dealership in Orange County, we believe in the adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” For this reason, we’ve come up with the following ways you can prepare your Buick, GMC, or another vehicle for this year’s predicted El Niño super storms.
Blades – Good windshield wiper blades are a must when the rain starts pouring. If your wiper blades are streaking, skipping, or have worn/split rubber, replace them with genuine AC/Delco wiper blades to make sure they are up to the task of keeping your windshield clean and your visibility clear. Take the time to top off your windshield washer fluid reservoir. We stock genuine GM wiper blades especially made for your Buick or GMC here at our Simpson Buick GMC Service & Parts Department. We’ll also be happy to install them for you.
Battery – You don’t want to be stranded in a downpour with a dead battery. Inspect the battery posts and cables for corrosion and clean if necessary. If you’re finding it harder to start your car, have your battery, starter, and alternator checked by one of our GM-certified technicians here at Simpson Buick GMC to ensure that they are operating correctly.
Belts & Hoses– A shredded serpentine belt or blown radiator hose could leave you stranded. Over time, rubber loses its pliability, becoming hard and brittle. Look for cracks or shiny spots in belts. The same goes for hoses, which go bad from the inside out. Inspect for spongy, brittle, or bulging areas. Our technicians are trained to spot and correct these issues before they become a problem.
Brakes – Let’s face it, driving in So. Cal can be difficult even when the weather is sunny. More so when the weather turns nasty. Good brakes are essential, especially when the freeways are slick with rain, and the 405 is bumper-to-bumper. One thing you can do yourself is to look for low brake fluid levels in the transparent brake reservoir. If you are adding or replacing brake fluid yourself, make sure to use clean brake fluid from an unopened container to avoid contamination. If you think your brakes feel “mushy” or if your car grabs or pulls when you apply the brakes, let our OC Buick GMC dealership’s certified GM technicians thoroughly inspect your brakes for such things as warped rotors, sticking calipers, worn brake pads, and leaking brake fluid lines.
To complete your 2015 El Niño automotive survival guide, here are some additional things you should check to ensure your car is ready for this unpredictable winter weather season.
Tires – Check your tires for improper pressure, uneven wear, gouges or cracks in the sidewall, or any other abnormality. Refer to your owner’s manual for the correct tire pressure. You can also find this information on the inside of the driver’s side door. Invest in a good quality tire pressure gauge. Don’t forget to check the tire pressure of your spare.
Coolant – You should also inspect your coolant levels by looking at the plastic recovery reservoir next to the radiator. Do this when your engine is cold to avoid injury. You don’t have to remove the radiator cap, just fill the reservoir to the correct level using the proper kind of coolant. Consult your Buick or GMC owner’s manual or contact our Service Department if you aren’t sure what coolant to use.
Headlights And Taillights – When El Niño’s wet weather hits, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your headlights and taillights are working properly. Visually check your headlights, taillights, and brake lights. Most are very easy to replace by following the instructions in your owner’s manual. If your headlight lenses are cloudy, you can clean them yourself using one of many off-the-shelf headlight restoration kits on the market. Our Service Department can also assist you with replacing bulbs and cleaning plastic lenses.
Oil and Transmission Fluids – Locate the oil dipstick and check the oil level. If it’s a bit low, use the correct viscosity oil for your vehicle and top off the oil, being careful not to overfill. Consult your Buick or GMC owner’s manual for the proper oil to use in your car. You may sometimes find the correct oil to use on the oil filler cap.
Steering, Suspension & Alignment – If you notice that your car is constantly drifting to one side or the other and you’re having a tough time keeping it straight, it’s a sign that you need an alignment. If you car’s steering feels too heavy or too light, or if your car’s suspension isn’t taking the bumps like it used to, let our service techs diagnose the problem by road-testing your car.
If you’ve taken the right steps to prepare your car for the bad weather ahead, then you’ll be better prepared to survive El Niño 2015’s impact on our roadways.
As your premier L.A. and Orange County new and used Buick GMC car dealer, Simpson Buick GMC of Buena Park is showering you with a torrent of savings as big as El Niño on our entire inventory of 2015 and 2016 Buicks and GMC trucks and SUVs. As an Edmunds.com five-star dealer, we pride ourselves on providing you with five-star customer service. Take advantage of our money-saving specials, dealer discounts, and manufacturer incentives. Save even more with our Certified Pre-Owned program.
Stop by our Buena Park Buick GMC dealership and let us show you just how easy it is to drive away in a new Buick or GMC today. We’re conveniently located where the 5 and the 91 freeways meet at 6600 Auto Center Drive, Buena Park CA 90621, serving Anaheim, Buena Park, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Tustin, Yorba Linda, Brea, Cerritos, Cypress, and La Habra. For Sales, please call 866-894-7589. For Service & Parts, please call 877-832-6194.