I have an '09 Honda Fit. It's a manual transmission. I bought it in the summer of 2013 and there are no warranties left on it. Other than regular oil changes, tire rotations, and having the battery replaced two weeks ago, I haven't had to do anything to this car since I bought it. I bought it "Honda Pre-Owned Certified" from a Honda dealer so it met their standards for certification. What are some things I can do at home to check the safety on it for winter driving (in a very wet and snowy area)? For context here, I'm a young-ish woman with a toddler and don't know a whole lot about cars. But I don't want to be told I need unnecessary work from a mechanic.
Here is a link to a checklist you can follow. Depending on how detailed you want to go at home, I think the main points for you to check are:
- Tire type and tread. Make sure that you have all-season tires (most are) and that the tread is at least 3/32 of an inch deep. Obviously, you don't want to be pushing this limit during the winter, so think about changing them if they are close. This is very important for traction on snow an ice.
- Tire pressure. Make sure that your tires are aired up to the level indicated on the door jam. Check the levels often. This also helps your traction.
- Battery. Batteries can have troubles in colder weather, so it's important this this is in top condition for winter. If you have a multimeter, you can check it at home. Otherwise, go to your local auto parts store, which should be able to check it. The voltage should be around 12.6V.
- Coolant levels. Refer to your owner's manual for proper filling procedures.
I hope that helps!