Getting Your Car Ready for Winter

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Well it’s that time of the year again. Winter is almost here! Getting your car ready for winter is extremely important. Here are a few tips on how:

1) Checking the engine coolant- A car’s coolant system is not only designed to keep your engine from overheating, but it’s also responsible for protecting against corrosion. Before the weather gets too cold, make sure you are using coolant that has proper mix of antifreeze and water.  

2) Check the car’s oil- When the outside temperature changes, it will influence the internal temperature of your engine, so make sure you’re using proper oil for the conditions. 

3) Check the battery- A car battery can die without any notice. Extreme cold temperatures can reduce the battery’s life by 50 percent. Before the cold weather sets in, have your battery tested by a local mechanic-especially if you have an older car. Also make sure your battery connections are free of corrosion. 

4) Check the tire pressure and consider new snow tires- Tire pressure is especially important during the winter months, as a properly inflated tire will help guarantee better traction in wet, snowy conditions. Make sure you read the owner’s manual to find the correct tire pressure. In addition, you may want to consider buying new tires especially if you live in an area that sees a lot of snow. 

5) Inspect your windshield wiper blades and fluid- Visibility while driving during the winter months can be a great frustration. Precipitation and salt buildup on the windshield can play havoc while driving in winter weather. So make sure you not only check the condition of your wiper blades, but also consider changing your existing blades to versions that are made for the harsh winter weather.  Also check and fill up your wiper fluid reservoir. A harsh winter storm is the worst possible time to run out of wiper fluid. 

6) Keep an emergency kit in the car- If you don’t already have an emergency kit in your car, consider putting together a few basics and stowing them in the trunk. Naturally, you will want to be sure your spare tire is in good shape with all tools to change it. But you might want a few other emergency items in case you slide off the road or get stranded in the car: -A flashlight, flares and a first aid kit.-A blanket, warm clothes and gloves -Extra windshield washer fluid, a brush or scraper. 

When you take the time to plan ahead, you can make winterizing your vehicle an easy, annual ritual that will keep you and your family safe!