Daylight savings has ended, you’re digging out your boots, you crave comfort food…these are all sure signs that, in the words of everyone’s favorite show, winter is coming. This all means you need to prepare your car for the rough weather ahead. Check out this list to help you brave the elements and keep your car in great condition no matter where the road takes you.
- Prepare an emergency kit: Include an ice scraper, blankets, jumper cable, first aid kit and maybe some trail mix or other snacks that won’t go bad in case you get stranded in the snow…hey you never know.
- Replace your windshield wiper blades: Experts recommend windshield wiper should be replaced every 6-12 months. Be prepared before the winter weather hits!
- Check your car lights: With the sun setting earlier, it’s important to make sure all of your light bulbs are working and replace any dull bulbs.
- Check your tire’s tread groove: Simply put a penny in your tire’s tread groove with Lincoln’s head down. If you can see the top of Honest Abe’s head it’s time to replace your tires!
- Refresh your memory on how to jump a car: Get close but don’t let the cars touch; find the terminals on each battery, they will be covered in either red or black, with a + or – sign on top. To line up positive with positive and negative with negative. Wipe dirty battery with a rag or wire brush.
- Keep your tires properly inflated: Did you know tire pressure can drop, losing up to one pound per square inch with every 10-degree drop in air temperature? Check your tire pressure to make sure your car has the proper amount of air.
- Get your battery tested: The cold weather can make it harder for batteries to run. Perform a volt test on your battery to get a new one if it’s needed.
- Schedule an oil change: Did you know that the “W”, in say 10W-30 as an example, does not stand for “Weight”, it actually stands for “Winter”? Understanding what the right oil is for your car in winter can be complicated, that’s why if you’re approaching an oil change, make sure you check with a certified mechanic. They’ll help you select the right thickness for your car to keep your engine’s moving parts lubricated.
- Know what to do if you get stranded: Emergencies happen to the best of us. Make sure to light flares and place them behind your vehicle, don’t wander from your car and call for roadside assistance.
- Update to a 50/50 Antifreeze mixture: Change your antifreeze to a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and distilled water. This ratio helps preventing freezing and boiling over during the cooler winter temps.
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