How To Winterize Your Car

It’s that time of the year again.  Winter months are upon us, which can present many challenges for your vehicle. To follow are suggestions to winterize your car and have a safe winter.

Replace or Refill All Fluids

Let’s start with regular maintenance, check your fluid levels.

  • Coolant—Check your coolant level.  Refer to your owner’s manual and make sure to use the correct antifreeze.
  • Oil—Check your oil level.  Again, refer to your owner’s manual to use the right type of oil.
  • Wiper fluid—Check wiper fluid, you’ll need freeze-resistant wiper fluid.

Inspect or Replace Your Tires

  • check air pressure and worn tires. Refer to your owner’s manual for the recommended PSI.
  • Consider snow tires if you live in snow country.

Cold Weather & Battery

  • Inspecting your battery, cables, terminals, and fluid will help you make sure your car is ready for the winter.
  • Check over the battery cables. The terminals should fit snugly with no loose connections.
  • Know the age of  your battery.  The battery may need to be replaced if it’s old.

Pack an Emergency Kit

It is so important to have a safety kit in your car.

Items to include in your winter safety kit include:

  • Flashlight.
  • Flares
  • Jack and lug wrench.
  • Small set of tools.
  • First aid kit.
  • Blanket, leather gloves, and hat.
  • Ice scraper and brush.
  • Small shovel.
  • Safe and leak-proof container of coolant.

If all else fails, have a cell phone available to call for emergency help.  As always, pull over to the side of the road and don’t text or use your phone while driving.

Keep Up Regular Maintenance

Bottom line, your vehicle needs year-round care.  If you’re not the do-it-yourself type, take your vehicle in to a trusted mechanic before temperatures drop and have them winterize your vehicle.