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Wintertime Car Care Tips

2018 10 04 Blog Car In Winter Driving On Snowy Road

By Madeline Klein on December 13, 2021 in Life Hacks

Winter is on the horizon. As the weather cools and the winter storms start rolling in, the roads can get treacherous depending on where you live. Car maintenance year-round is important, but a little pre-winter preparation can help keep you and your family safe on your travels during the colder weather months.

1. Fill up your antifreeze

Antifreeze should be at the top of your to-do list for winter car prep. It keeps your engine from freezing on those brutally cold days. Whenever you drive your car in the winter, you want to be sure your antifreeze fluid is topped off. We’d hate for you to get stranded in the cold because of a frozen engine.

2. Check your battery

Car batteries can do funny things in cold weather. Your car typically requires more energy to start in the cold, so you’ll want to be sure your battery is in good shape before the season begins. You can run a battery test to see if it is running on full power, or if it will need to be replaced soon. And if you aren’t feeling your own battery-testing abilities, you can always stop by your mechanic and ask them to check it out for you. While you're at it, this would be a great time to have your transmission looked over as well.

3. Look at your windshield wipers

As with almost every other time of the year, windshield wipers and the fluid that goes with them are extremely crucial for driving visibility and safety. Before that winter weather hits, you’ll want to make sure your windshield wipers are in tip-top shape. You should also check the fluid levels of your wiper fluid, or splurge for the winter fluid if you live in a particularly stormy area.

4. Inspect your tires

Cold weather and all that comes along with it can have a big impact on your tires. The change in air pressure can affect your tire’s pressure. Check and ensure your tires fall into the range your car manual suggests. You’ll also want to take a good look at your tread. With winter storms potentially approaching, you want your tread to be in good condition. Try the old coin test to see if you should invest in new tires for the new season.

5. Put an emergency kit in your car

A car emergency kit is a good idea, no matter what time of year it is. Some key things to include for the winter are:

  • A warm blanket
  • Kitty litter for traction
  • Flares
  • A first-aid kit, fully stocked
  • Jumper cables
  • A flashlight

TMYK: An emergency kit can be updated based on the season. In the summer, trade out the kitty litter for some extra water bottles.

Basically, you should take some time to give your car a good once over as you pack up the sunglasses and put away the pool towels. And once you’ve done that, check out some tips on how to winterize your garage to keep your freshly-prepped car safe and sound. Take a note from the Boy Scouts motto, and always be prepared in the winter. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry, right?

Madeline Klein is Say's Digital Content Producer. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Journalism, emphasis in Strategic Communication. Her experience is in writing and digital media. Madeline loves using her creativity to write and design new and exciting pieces of work for Say!