In cold-weather states, winterizing your car is a common practice, especially for vehicles that do not perform well in below freezing weather. While many are aware that winterizing their vehicle is needed, there are still many who end up paying the cost via repairs, or through risks to their personal safety or the safety of their family. It is important to check all the important boxes to winterize your car. Read below for our list of tips to get your car ready before winter weather hits.
1. CHANGE YOUR TIRES. If you’re expecting snow, it may be a smart decision to get snow tires. At the minimum, you should at least make sure that your current tires are not worn down and that your tire pressure is adequate. Cold weather will naturally reduce air pressure in tires, so it’s good to be aware that your tires will deflate a little bit as the temperature drops. By changing your tires and keeping them at the right pressure, your car will be more stable on snow or ice, while also helping to avoid costly flat tires.
2. SERVICE BRAKES. Having brakes function at a high level is always important regardless of the season, but if your car’s brake pads are starting to wear down prior to winter, it’s strongly advised to get them serviced before winter weather arrives. Brakes tend to wear down quicker in wintery conditions, so if they’re getting close to needing repair when it’s warm, they will certainly need repaired when the weather turns.
3. INSPECT AND REPLACE YOUR BATTERY. Cold weather is often the nemesis of batteries. Instead of getting stranded in a parking lot due to your battery dying, we suggest inspecting your battery ahead of time. If it’s getting old, it may need to be replaced regardless of the temperature. Additionally, if the temperature drops below freezing, we suggest considering a battery warmer or insulator, which can be purchased online or at an auto parts store.
4. CHANGE YOUR OIL. Cold weather increases the viscosity of oil, which makes it more difficult for your engine to start. Getting regular oil changes is an important part of maintenance all year long, but it’s especially important when cold weather sets in. Get your oil changed at Hometown Service Center to ensure quality performance this winter.
5. CHECK ANTIFREEZE. Antifreeze is important during winter months to prevent your car’s radiator fluid from freezing. If the amount of antifreeze is too low, this can cause significant problems to your vehicle. Antifreeze should ideally be at a 50:50 ratio to water. Get this inspected at Hometown Service Center.
6. PACK AN EMERGENCY KIT. Hopefully this type of kit will never be needed, but having emergency supplies can be a lifesaver if your car breaks down out in the cold. We strongly suggest packing a warm blanket, jumper cables, a first aid kit, a flashlight, ice scraper, windshield washer fluid, and a car charger for your cell phone.
7. REPLACE WINDSHIELD WIPERS. Those windshield wipers you have that perform so well during a rainstorm are not going to handle snow and ice very well. Additionally, ice and snow tend to put a lot of wear and tear on any set of windshield wipers, which means you need to use specially designed wipers for winter weather.
8. REPLACE WINDSHIELD WIPER FLUID. Make sure that the wiper fluid you use will not freeze when the temperatures drop. We suggest refilling your wiper fluid with winter-friendly windshield wiper fluid in the autumn before the first below freezing temperature arrives.
9. PACK A SHOVEL AND SAND. If your car gets buried in snow during a significant snowfall, it can be difficult to get your car free. By including a shovel and sand, you’ll have the tools needed to dig your vehicle out and to gain some traction.
Tim would love to talk to you about your options for car maintenance and repair. Tim was born and raised in Westerville. His family has maintained businesses in Westerville for over 20 years, and he is a proud US Navy Veteran. Hometown is here for you!
Tim would love to talk to you about your options for car maintenance and repair. Tim was born and raised in Westerville. His family has maintained businesses in Westerville for over 50 years. He is a US Navy Veteran and his sons work in the business. Hometown is here for you!