How To Prepare Your Vehicle For Winter

In some parts of the world extreme winter is a naturally reoccurring phenomenon that has an enormous effect on our daily lives.  It can snow or sleet or reach temperatures below freezing; this not only has an effect on the human body but on the vehicles that we drive. As you’re preparing, you're preparing yourself and your home for this upcoming winter don’t forget to prepare your car as well. It may help you save on money when it comes to repairs and any unfortunate experience that may occur.

Check out our "how to pack a winter car emergency kit" here!

Tires

One of the first things that you can do is check your tire tread. Tire tread is the raised parts of the tire that you see, as well as being the part that makes contact with the road as you drive. If the tire’s tread is low it can lessen the amount of traction your vehicle has while driving, which can be dangerous in icy conditions. If your tire’s tread is measured at 2/32” or lower, it’s time to get new tires.

Because of where snow sticks and ice forms it comes as no surprise that the tires of a vehicle are a big area to look at when preparing for winter. The air pressure in your tire should be at its peak to avoid any complications on the road or the risk of coming out to a flat tire. Most, if not all, tires have their required air pressure printed either on the tire itself or on the inside of the car, so make sure to fill up.

If you live in an area that you know will have heavy snowfall don’t be afraid to consider snow tires. These tires will help you plow through the snow. 

Fluids

Make sure to change and/or fill your vehicle’s fluids during the winter season. Keeping regular maintenance on things such as oil and antifreeze will not only help your car’s longevity but will also help prevent your car from suffering a busted line during the winter. Make sure that your gas tank is as full as it can be as well; too little gas and you run the risk of something going wrong in your vehicle.

Heater

It should go without saying that your car heater is one of the most important parts of the vehicle in the winter. Some older models require a vehicle to heat up to prevent complications for the car, but most modern-day styles do not. The heater is also just a great thing to have for yourself, allowing you to have a warm drive as you travel as well as having a warm place to look forward to if you have to step outside for one reason or another.

To sum it all up here are 14 Tips for Preparing your vehicle for winter! 

  1. Read your owner’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s recommended service schedules. 
  2. Get engine performance and driveability problems — hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.
  3. Replace dirty filters.
  4. As the temperature drops below freezing, add a bottle of fuel deicer in your tank once a month to help keep moisture from freezing in the fuel line.
  5. Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual.
  6. The cooling system should be flushed and refilled as recommended. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically.
  7. The heater and defroster must be in good working condition for passenger comfort and driver visibility.
  8. Replace old blades regularly. 
  9. Have your battery checked. 
  10. Inspect all lights and bulbs.
  11. Exhaust fumes inside your vehicle’s cabin can be deadly.
  12. Worn tires are dangerous in winter weather. 
  13. Have your brakes checked periodically for safety and to prevent costly repairs that can be caused by neglect.
  14. The transmission is often neglected until a major failure.

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