Winter and all of the conditions that come with it can be tough on you vehicle. Experts recommend prepping your car for winter conditions so it can safely make it to spring. The following is a list of steps to take to make sure your car is ready for the season.
Winterizing the exterior of your car.
It’s always a great idea to keep your car’s exterior clean, especially during winter months. Snow, freezing rain, and salt can all damage and erode a vehicle’s paint. Regularly washing a car during winter will keep it looking clean and also make sure the mechanical parts stay protected. Applying a wax after washing will add an extra layer of protection as well.
Replacing wiper blades about every 5-6 months is recommended. Getting new wiper blades for winter is especially helpful. Higher amounts of snow and rain are typical for the Northeast and Northwest parts of the country. Heated wiper blades can also be purchased to help melt ice and snow on the windshield.
Winter is very demanding on tires. Check to make sure that the tires are still in good condition. For drivers in some parts of the country it is wise to purchase tires specifically made for driving in the snow & ice. Tire pressure should be checked regularly.
Winterizing under the hood.
Colder temperatures have been known to cause problems under the hood. The most well known item to check before/during winter is your antifreeze fluid levels. Antifreeze can keep your radiator from freezing up in low temperatures. It is also recommended to have the other fluid levels checked in your vehicle, such as brake fluid, transmission fluid, and wiper fluid, etc.
Freezing temperatures can do a number on your car battery. It is advised to have the battery tested regularly and if needed purchase a new one. The colder it gets, the more strength your battery loses.
Other components of your vehicle to check up on before and during winter months are hoses, belts, air filters, and the vehicle’s thermostat.
Keeping a winter emergency kit.
Accidents and breakdowns happen, and they can become very dangerous during cold temperatures. You don’t want to be stranded during the winter months. Prepare an emergency kit with everything needed in case of car troubles.
- First aid kit.
- Blankets, gloves, and boots.
- Water and snacks.
- Phone chargers.
- Jumper cables.
- Tire inflator, patch kit, and gauge.
- Road flares.