When Temperatures Drop, It’s Important to Make Sure Your Vehicle is Ready

Preparing your vehicle for driving during the winter. Modern cars are designed to handle inclement weather, but cold winter months put stress on a vehicle – and on its driver.

Winterizing your car can improve performance, extend engine life and prepare you in case of an emergency. This process begins with regular maintenance, whether you’re the do-it-yourself kind, or you take your car to a trusted mechanic.

Proper maintenance, seasonal checkups and winter-specific upgrades will help you winterize your vehicle and make it ready for rain, snow, sleet, ice or any combination of those conditions.

Step 1: Inspect Your Battery

STEP 1: INSPECT YOUR BATTER: Check your battery and charging system, including voltage (use a hydrometer) cable lines (for cracks or breaks), terminals for a snug fit, and fluid level. Replace low fluid with distilled water. An unusual amount of corrosion means a trip to a mechanic for inspection and cleaning.

Step 2: Check and Refill Fluid Levels

STEP 2: CHECK AND REFILL FLUID LEVELS: Radiator coolant should be a 50-50 mixture of antifreeze and water. Use an antifreeze tester to check composition. Keep wiper fluid filled. If wiper blades look frayed or cracked or don’t function well, replace them. A thinner-viscosity oil that flows through your engine more easily will help keep moving parts lubricated.

Step 3: Consider Buying Winter Tires

sTEP 3: CONSIDER BUYING WINTER TIRES: Be sure tread depth and tire pressure are adequate on all tires, including the spare. Keep tires properly inflated to maintain road traction. If roads are frequently icy and snow-covered, consider winter-specific tires. Some winter tires are studded for driving in the worst conditions.

Step 4: Emergency Preparation

STEP 4: EMERGENCY PREPARATION: A safety kit is good to have in your car all year, but it’s key in winter. For the cold weather months, be sure to include an ice scraper and brush, winter chains if you don’t have snow tires, gloves and a bag of kitty litter or sand in case you get stuck and need to improvise traction.

Step 5: Visit Your Mechanic

STEP 5: VISIT YOUR MECHANIC: Finally, we recommend a general physical inspection of all engine components. Check belts, hoses and spark plugs. Make sure exterior and interior lights are working. Take your car to a mechanic if there are any underlying issues such as hard starts, rattling or unusual engine noises you’ve been putting off addressing.

Snow Chain Alternatives: the Autoso... x
Snow Chain Alternatives: the Autosock

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