When temperatures drop, we tend to cozy up inside and enjoy the view outside, but are drivers taking care of their car just as well?
If winter is coming, drivers have to prepare their vehicle to make sure it makes it through with as little damage as possible while being reliable.
This will not only keep them and others safe but also come in at a reasonable price. For any driver that still hasn’t begun preparing their car for winter, here are seven tips to help them out.
Change The Oil
Using a thicker motor oil during hotter months protects the engine from overheating. In winter, on the other hand, the car needs a thinner, winter-grade oil to help start the engine when it’s cold outside while putting less stress on the car battery.
Put Together An Emergency Kit for Winter
In the case of breakdowns or accidents, each driver should have an emergency kit. However, don’t forget to adapt the kit to winter temperatures and seasonal downfalls. Some of the things a typical winter kit should have are an ice scraper, small shovel and snowbrush, booster cables, road flares, antifreeze, extra clothing, emergency blankets, some non-perishable food and water, and a tow rope.
Change to Winter Tires
Because tires are so critical to navigation and safety while driving, it’s extremely important to invest in a set that can firmly secure the vehicle to the ground and avoid skidding. According to Woody Rogers, product information officer at Tire Rack, high-tech safety systems built into a car will be rendered useless without winter tires.
All-season tires, despite the name, are not suitable for temperatures below 45 F. On the other hand, winter tires can handle freeze temperature and provide a deeper thread to maintain better traction in rough situations.
Keep a Half-Full Gas Tank
A nearly empty gas tank can cause condensation build-up during winter, which can lead to frozen fuel lines. To avoid this, refuel when the indicator dips below the half-way mark.
Check The Car Battery
A car battery that’s on its way out can make it difficult for the car to start once freezing temperatures arrive. Low temperatures can also cause cracks in the car battery’s casing, which results in even more challenging issues. Therefore, have a mechanic check the car’s battery and make sure they replace it if it’s nearly dead.
Use Antifreeze and Check Levels Often
Drivers should have enough antifreeze or engine coolant in the car through the year. It will lessen overheating as well as freezing during winter. To avoid any trouble, top off the antifreeze levels regularly. However, don’t use only water. Instead, mix distilled water 50/50 with propylene glycol to avoid freezing the reservoir.
Wax The Car
Ice and snow along with salt used to clear roads during winter can wreak havoc on the car’s paint job. That’s why drivers should wax the exterior while they can. Drivers can do it themselves or take their vehicle to a local car wash and have them do it.
Maintain proper tire pressure
Tire pressure can be an issue during the winter due to the cold temperatures. Car experts say tires tend to deflate once the temperature drops below 32 degrees and that on a weekly basis, drivers should check their tire pressure because lower tire pressure decreases their gas mileage and also can wear the tires out faster.
As improper tire pressure reduces control of the car in all situations, proper inflation is especially important in bad weather scenarios.
Inspect headlights and brake lights
It’s vital to have fully functioning headlights and brake lights when faced with thick winter fog or heavy snow as it’s going to help with visibility while driving, but also make sure other drivers are able to see the car coming at them.
It should be noted that plastic headlight covers with a haze on them can have a negative effect on the brightness of the headlights. Plastic headlight lens repair kits can be found at various retailers if owners choose not to have it serviced by a professional.
If all these tips have been followed to prepare the car for winter, then rest east rest easy. If some of the steps have been ignored, don’t wait any longer to get the car ready for low temperatures and winter road scenarios. If drivers need more information on how to keep their vehicle in top working order during winter, we suggest doing some additional research to stay ahead of any challenges.
- “Are you and your car ready for winter?” Rates, 15 January, 2020,
- “8 tips to prepare your car for winter, according to auto experts,” Business Insider, Steven John, 5 November, 2019,
- “5 ways to prepare for your car for winter,” AccuWeather, Kevin Byrne,
- “Why should you keep your gas tank full?” Kat Tire,