Helpful Tips To Prepare Your Car for Winter

The weather in early fall is lovely, and the last thing on anyone’s mind is a cold, blustery winter. However, depending on where you live, now is the time to prepare for snow, ice, and hazardous driving conditions. It’s always wise to stay on top of car maintenance, but it’s especially important in the winter when new issues can cause problems while on the road or in the driveway. Follow along for some helpful tips to prepare your car for winter.

Assemble a Winter Emergency Kit

When driving along a country road in below-freezing temperatures, getting a flat tire or sliding into the ditch might mean you will have to wait a while before someone can get to you. As you wait in a car that won’t start, you need a reliable way to stay warm. To do so, create an emergency winter kit for your car with the following items:
Ice scraper
Extra boots
Hat and gloves
A shovel
A bag of sand
Hand warmers

The bag of sand is useful should your tires spin when trying to get out of a slippery area. Pour the sand around the tires to help create traction. Alternatively, you can use cat litter to achieve the same result.

Check the Exterior of the Car

Take a walk around your car while someone else turns all the lights on and off so you can see if anything looks dim or isn’t working. Replace old bulbs and clean the covers on your lights so your car is visible during winter storms. Also, you need good wipers in the winter, so consider installing new wiper blades when you perform your inspection.

Check the Tires

Your tires likely prefer warmer weather to winter conditions; however, they’ll have to be prepared regardless. When checking the tires, look for worn treads and low air pressure. Keep the air at the correct level for the season, and if the treads look like they’ve seen better days, determine whether it’s time for new tires.

If you haven’t done so recently, have the tires rotated before winter arrives. One of the reasons it’s important to rotate the tires is to help keep tread wear even.

Tune Up the Car

Your car will welcome a good tune-up before winter strikes. If you enjoy taking care of car maintenance on your own, the following is a list of things to check when tuning up a vehicle:
Check the windshield fluid levels and fill them as needed.
Check the oil level and change the oil if it’s time. You may also want to switch to a winter-grade oil.
Charge the battery.
Check all hoses for cracks and replace them if necessary.

If you prefer to see a mechanic, ask them what they’ll be checking and make sure all of these things are on the list.

Don’t put off preparing your car for winter until it’s too late and you must do it in the cold. Take advantage of the gentle fall temps to get your vehicle ready for the coming season.

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