Preparing Your Car for Winter

Car stuck in snow

Winter can be hard on us with it’s cold, snow, overcast days and additional stress. But it can also be hard on our cars.

When winter and snow finally arrives, will your car be ready?

The things that go wrong with your car in winter and the emergencies you face are actually fairly predictable. That’s a good thing because it means you have a chance to prepare yourself.

It’s going to get snowy and slippery. There will be extreme temperatures. Engines don’t start and car batteries are vulnerable. You may find yourself temporarily stranded somewhere.

All these are events you can prepare for.

Let’s review a list of ways you can prepare your car for winter.

 

Preparing your car for winter

  • Have your battery tested or replaced
  • Check your fluid levels
  • Test heater and window defroster
  • Replace your windshield wipers
  • Check your tire pressure
  • Have a winter emergency kit in trunk
  • Wash and wax exterior

Related: Winter Driving Tips to Stay Safe

car maintenance

Have your battery tested

Battery testing takes only a few minutes. Your mechanic might even do it for free, especially if they’re doing another service such as changing your oil.

Check your fluid levels

Too keep your car running at its best, especially in winter, make sure all your fluids are topped off.

  • Windshield wiper fluid
  • Power steering fluid
  • Engine coolant
  • Brake fluid
  • Antifreeze
  • Oil

Winter car accident

Test heater and defroster

This is an easy one to do. Don’t wait until it’s 20 degrees to find out the heater isn’t blowing hot air.

Replace your windshield wipers

Windshield wipers will only typically last 2-3 years until they show signs of wear. This can really affect your vision during a snowstorm and make your car unsafe.

Related: Tips for avoiding winter collisions

Check your tire pressure

When temperatures drop, so will your tire pressure. Check that they are filled to the proper pounds per square inch listed on the sticker inside the driver’s door or your car’s owner manual.

Have a winter emergency kit in trunk

  • Spare tire, wheel wrench, and tripod jack
  • Ice scraper and snow brush
  • Small shovel
  • Jumper cables
  • Toolkit
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Windshield cleaner
  • Reflective triangles or flares
  • Candles, lighter or matches
  • Portable cell phone charger
  • Nonperishable, high-energy foods like unsalted, canned nuts, dried fruits and hard candy
  • Blankets, mittens, socks, and hats

Wash and wax exterior

Washing and waxing your car can make rain, snow and ice slide off your roof easily as well as protect your exterior.

 

Most importantly, slow down! Most car accidents are a result of driving too fast for conditions. All-wheel drive and driving an SUV won’t prevent an accident due to driving fast in slippery conditions.

 

Need your car repaired after an accident?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. Serving the local area including Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan, Chicago and the southwest Chicago suburbs.

Call (815) 485-8411

 

Winter driving safety resources

How to prepare your car for winter – Chicago Tribune
Here’s how to avoid five common winter breakdowns – Driving
It’s easy to prepare your vehicle for the ice, snow and freezing temperatures – Driving
Be Prepared for Winter Driving – National Safety Council
5 Steps to Prepare Your Car for Winter – US News & World Report
How to Prepare a Car for Winter Driving – WikiHow

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