Winterize Your Vehicle

Are You Ready?

snowy road

We want to make sure you’re well-prepared for changing weather conditions as winter rapidly approaches.  There are several simple things you can do to help make sure you and your vehicle stay safe!

The LAST thing you want is to get stranded out in a storm because your car battery died.  Extremely cold temperatures can reduce your car battery’s life up to 50 percent, so checking your battery is crucial! To test your battery, take it to a mechanic where professional equipment can detect if your battery is running low on life.

Getting an oil change with proper oil is another great way to help winterize your car.  For colder conditions, a thinner, less viscous oil is desirable because the oil tends to thicken the colder it gets outside.  If it’s too thick, it won’t be able to do a good job keeping your engine lubricated.  Check your owner’s manual to find out which oil is best for your vehicle.

During the unpredictable conditions of winter weather, visibility is a must.  First, make sure your wiper blades are up to par.  They generally are good for about one year, so if you’ve had them longer than that, now is the time to switch them out!  Another step to optimize your visibility during stormy weather is to have your windshield washer reservoir well-filled with windshield wiper fluid.  Don’t substitute it for water, because water can freeze.  Don’t forget to test your heater and defroster to see that they’re working properly.

Tires are a huge consideration when it comes to this time of year.  Check your tire pressure weekly.  Properly inflated tires will provide better traction and control in icy, wet and snowy conditions.  Make sure your spare tire also has proper pressure and that your jack is in good working condition.  Consider using snow tires, especially if you live in an area that receives a lot of snow.  They will perform much better than all-weather tires.  Poorly aligned wheels are also a risk-factor, so have your tires rotated regularly as recommended.

Last but not least, keep an emergency kit in your car.  Pack some essentials like a flashlight, flares and a first-aid kit in your trunk, along with extra gloves, boots, warm blankets, a small shovel and non-clumping kitty litter or sand for when you need added traction.  It’s not a bad idea to have extra batteries and a few energy bars or snacks on hand too.  Other items in your emergency kit could include extra antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, paper towels, jumper cables, and tire chains.

By taking time to plan ahead, winterizing your car can be easy, and should be a priority to keep you and your family safe and your vehicle operating properly.