Winter weather can be a serious hassle. Snow, rain, sleet, fog, ice — there’s just too many unpredictable conditions ready to throw you off course.
This year, get ready for it by making sure that your vehicle is properly winterized. Here are our 8 quick tips for winterizing your vehicle:
1. Replace the windshield wipers – Windshield wipers are essential to safety. If you can’t clear your windshield from rain and snow, then you can’t see what’s in front of you. Before winter begins, check your wipers to make sure they don’t leave any streaks across the glass. Also, make sure you use a washer fluid that won’t freeze in low temperatures.
2. Check the heating system – You certainly don’t want to be driving around feeling as cold as a snowman, and neither does your car. Before the winter season starts, test out your heating system and make sure the window defrosters are working as intended.
3. Keep the fuel tank full – In the winter time, it's especially important to make sure you don't run out of fuel. Serious engine problems can occur if your vehicle's internal temperatures drop below normal condition. Additionally, condensation from shifting temperatures can cause water to drip down into the gas tank. Your best bet is to keep the fuel tank high.
4. Equal parts of anti-freeze and water – The 50:50 ratio of antifreeze and water still applies in the winter time, and lucky for you, most gas stations sell it pre-mixed.
5. Check the oil – Change your oil every 3,000 miles. This rule applies to other seasons as well. It’s also important to check the viscosity of the oil to make sure it’s not too thick or too thin. When was your last oil change?
6. Look for battery corrosion – How old is your battery? If it’s over five years, it’s likely time to change it. Most batteries expire after this much time. Open the hood and check for any corrosion on the clamps. This can be cleaned off easily with baking soda and water.
7. Make sure the tires are ready – First thing’s first: ask yourself if you need winter tires. If you expect to be driving on snow and ice, proper winter tread can go a long way to ensuring your safety. If you’re not replacing tires, you should check the tread of your existing set to make sure it’s still up to snuff. The final step is to ensure that your tire pressure is filled to its recommendation.
8. Have an emergency kit – When all else fails, make sure you’re prepared to battle the cold weather. If by some chance your car loses power, you don’t want to be stuck out in the cold while you wait for a tow truck. That’s why it’s vital to store an emergency kit with items such as a blanket, flashlight, gloves, boots, and a warm coat.