Hate to burst your bubble, but winter is on the way (for those of us that have to deal with snow). Okay, maybe it won’t be here tomorrow, but it’ll be here soon enough, and when it does arrive you’ll want to be able to proudly proclaim that you were ready to meet its cold embrace. A big part of that – a huge part, in fact – is winterizing your car. So what do you need to do to get your car ready for winter? Great question; we’ve got answers.
Have your engine serviced. Breaking down by the side of the road is bad enough in clear, warm weather. Having the same happen in the middle of a blizzard is about the worst possible thing that you can think of. To prevent this from happening – or at least to cut down on the likelihood of this happening – get your car in to an auto mechanic before the snow flies. Have them perform all necessary maintenance like an oil change, but also have them inspect everything under the hood and all around to make sure it’s good to go. Things like belts and hoses and anti-freeze levels are important, but so are working windshield wipers. Have your battery tested too to ensure there is enough power for cold starts. And replace old air and fuel filters. Don’t have a go to repair shop? Use Openbay to compare pricing and book service from quality local shops with the click of a button.
Check your tires and replace them if necessary. This isn’t exactly cheap, and it’s certainly not free, but it’s certainly critical. Especially if your tires are looking old and worn. Putting new shoes on your car could mean the difference between stopping in time to avoid colliding with an enormous snow plow and… well, not stopping in time. Which can ruin your day, your front end, and all sorts of other stuff you probably don’t want to think about. If the tread depth on your tires is nearing 2/32 of an inch, they’re getting to the end of their life. Replace them now so you’ll have the best possible snow and ice traction.
Throw an emergency kit into the backseat. You know, just in case. The key here is not to use it. That’s your goal for the entire winter. But the at least if you have it in your car, you know you’ll be well equipped if something wonky does go wrong on the road and you find yourself stuck in a snow bank. You can buy emergency winter kits for your car, or you can make your own. Whatever you choose, make sure your kit includes the following: thermal blankets; a supply of water and dried food like nuts or candy or jerky; gloves; boots; a flashlight; a small shovel; a fully charged spare cell phone (even with no plan you can still dial 911 for help and get through); jumper cables; flares; candle with matches; tire chains; a first aid kit.