The colder months of the year are fast approaching you if they haven’t already. It’s time to start preparing for rain, snow, and ice almost every day. In addition to making sure your home is safe from cold breezes and frozen pipes, the most important thing you can do to prepare for this season is to prepare your car for winter.
While it is extremely important to keep up with the maintenance of your vehicle all year round, it is essential to prepare your car for the winter. You may think it might not be so bad for your car to break down on a hot spring or summer day. But trust me when I say that having to wait for a tow truck in chilling temperatures isn’t the idea of a good time for anyone. To avoid breakdowns, prepare your car for winter with these 5 simple steps to make sure your car can take you to all your destinations safely this winter.
Let’s start with the obvious. You don’t want to drive a car during the winter with a broken air conditioner. If your car’s heating, air conditioning, or any of the vents have problems, be sure to fix them before the temperatures start to drop. You may be able to fix it yourself with a car air cooler, but if not, you’ll want to spend the money getting it fixed by a mechanic. Believe me, it will be worth it.
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2.) Check your tires
Driving in bad weather can be difficult even with the best
. Make sure yours is in top condition to avoid highway accidents. Replace any worn tires and remember to put chains on the tires when you need extra traction.
Also, check the tire pressure. As the temperature drops, the pressure in the tires decreases, so adds a little more air just in case. Low tire pressure is especially dangerous on wet and slippery roads, so keeping your tires full is vital to your safety on the road.
3.) Winterize Your Battery
Your battery takes a toll by working harder to keep the engine warm in the winter. Ask your mechanic to check the battery life and replace it if necessary. You’ll be glad you checked this out the next time you see someone in a parking lot trying to start their car while in a pile of snow!
If you want to check the battery yourself, we recommend that you check three different things.
Check for cracks or breaks in the cables and make sure they are not loose.
You will need a hydrometer to measure the battery charge. Just remember to turn off the engine before doing this.
The date of manufacture
Check the manufacturing date as it will help you determine when the battery will start to lose charge. On average a car battery will last 5 to 7 years.
4.) Check The Fluids
This is an important part of car maintenance that is required to overwinter your car and that you should keep up with every year, so make sure you take care of it before it gets too cold outside. This includes checking the oil, wiper fluid, and antifreeze in the vehicle. These can thicken in colder weather, causing more harm than good.
If you need to change the oil, make sure you’ve completed it before it gets too cold, and if you’re driving in sub-zero temperatures consider using a thinner oil so it doesn’t freeze.
Make sure your car has the right mixture of antifreeze and water so it doesn’t freeze and make sure it’s filled to the max line.
Windshield wiper fluid
You will need frost-resistant wiper fluid to prevent your windshield from fogging or freezing. Also consider replacing your wiper blades with winter ones, which have a rubber that prevents ice from building up on them.
5.) Pack An Emergency Kit
While we do our best to prepare and avoid car problems during the winter, it is sometimes unavoidable. So, when you run into problems, having an emergency kit in the trunk of your car can help. You’ll want to have an assortment of the following:
First aid kit
Flashlight and batteries
Non-perishable food and water
Sandbag or cat litter (can help remove tires from snow or mud)
Blankets or extra warm clothing such as coats
Also tailor your emergency kit to your needs, packing everything you think you or your children might need if your car stops on the side of the highway during the winter.
Now you can enjoy the winter months knowing that you and your car are prepared. If you have any other ways you like to make your car winter, please share it with us on