Six Steps to Prepare Your Car for Winter

Oct 3, 2016 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)

Whether or not you live in an area with snowfall and freezing temperatures, winter is the perfect time to take care of regular maintenance. Depending on the weather conditions in your area, proper preparation can be crucial to your safety. If you are preparing for cold weather, your car needs to be ready.

Top Up Fluids

Take the time to confirm that your car has enough engine oil, brake fluid, radiator coolant, and windshield wiper fluid. Make sure that you replace your summer wiper fluid with a blend designed for winter so it won’t freeze when the temperature decreases, especially at night. Make sure you also have enough oil and antifreeze, so your car doesn’t suffer any internal damage.

Change the Oil

In addition to making sure you have enough oil, it is a good idea to swap out the oil you are using in your car during the winter. Winter-grade oil will keep your engine running smoothly. Opt for thinner engine oil during the winter to deal with the cold, so the lower the number in its specifications, the better

Check Your Tires

Tire pressure tends to drop more quickly during the winter months, so you want to stay ahead of the game by maintaining proper pressure. You should also take this opportunity to check the tread depth on your tires. Remember that it is especially important you have enough traction during the winter since ice and snow make the roads slippery.

Give it a Coat of Wax

Cars tend to suffer from a dull appearance during the winter because of the weather, but you can avoid this by protecting your vehicle with wax. Wax your vehicle thoroughly before the winter to protect the paint. This will also prevent oxidation and rust.

Inspect the Lights

Winter has significantly fewer daylight hours, making your car’s lights even more important. Take time to check that all of your lights are still working properly and shining brightly so that you can see the road around you and other drivers can spot your vehicle.

Have Supplies on Hand

Winter comes with a unique set of issues, and you want to be prepared for all of them. Do this by making sure you have everything you will need for the winter months in your car, including an ice scraper and a snow shovel. Put an emergency kit with things like blankets and gloves in the car as well.

While these are among the most important steps for preparing your car for winter, you should also take care of any maintenance or repairs you may have been avoiding. As bad as it is to be stranded or in need of a tow truck in nice weather, it can be even more dangerous during the winter. Maintaining your car for the winter can make your life easier and safer.

Tell us what you think