9 Steps to Prepare Your Car for Winter

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9 Steps to Prepare Your Car for Winter

See how we're different

As the last fews weeks of fall fade and the cold weather rolls in, it’s time to consider preparing your car because when the temperature drops your vehicle will be affected.

Getting a jump-start on this task can help ensure that your vehicle is in tip-top shape before winter winds howl and snow and ice start to accumulate on roadways.

Here are some simple, but often overlooked, preventive steps you should take to make sure your ride is prepped and ready to get you through winter in Connecticut.

1.  Inspect Your Car’s Battery

The battery is the heart of the car and it should be the first thing you check to ensure it is working properly. When winter arrives, it reduces the output of the battery due to an increased use of lights, blower, and heater.

Even though batteries can last around five years, you shouldn’t take any chances and neglect to check it. If your car is giving you trouble, the battery is the first thing you should check and if needed, replace it.


2. Add Antifreeze to Your Car’s Engine Coolant

Your car’s engine coolant should be a mixture of one half water and one half antifreeze. You need to top your car’s engine coolant with antifreeze. Do not make the mistake of adding water during any other time of the year, as it over-dilutes the antifreeze during winter.


3. Get Your Car Serviced

If you got your car serviced several months back, you need to get your car serviced again before winter arrives. The cold weather can wreak havoc on your car, resulting in several problems. If you had only taken your car for a service, you could have avoided experiencing half of these problems.

For this reason, you need to take your car for regular servicing and maintenance inspections.


4. Inspect Your Car’s Tires

To ensure that the steering wheel and brakes works properly, you need to check the condition of your car’s tires. You do not want to find out later that there is something wrong with your tires when you try to steer and brake on an icy road.

Check the pressure and tread depth of your car’s tires. Professionals suggest that the tires depth should be a minimum of 3 mm instead of the legal minimum of 1.6 mm, as it provides you with an improved grip. Another option you can opt for is to change your tires by buying and installing ones that are specifically made for winter weather. These will provide you with an increased grip and improved control in snow and ice.


5. Clean Your Car’s Lights, Rear Reflectors, and Indicators

Inspect the lights, rear reflectors, and indicators of your car to ensure they are clean. Look hard for any blown bulbs and cracked lenses. In addition to this, inspect the full beam headlights, indicators, and the fog lights of your car.


6. Check Your Car’s Hoses and Belts

Ensure that your car’s hoses and belts do not have any wear and tear. When you take your car for service, you can tell the auto repair shop to check the hoses and belts of your car. Winter can take a toll on your car’s hoses and belts which is why you need to get them checked out.


7. Keep a Winter Car Kit in Your Car

You never know when your car might breakdown or malfunction. Therefore, it is important for you to carry a winter car kit with you at all times. The winter car kit should include a flashlight, blanket, shovel, hi-visibility vest, food, screen wash, drinks, de-icer, scraper, and snow grips. Other items you need to store in it include gloves, extra betters for flashlight, tow rope, and backup jumper cables. You should also ensure that your mobile phone is always charged to full.

Carry a phone charger with you as well. Carry phone numbers of people in a notebook you can contact in the event your mobile phone runs out of battery. More importantly, you should always check the weather before you go outside to see if there is a chance of snow or rain. You should also always drive according to the road and weather conditions regardless of the season.


8. Keep a Show Shovel and Floor Mats in Your Car

In the event your car gets stuck in snow, you need to have a snow shovel and extra floor mats in your car. You should learn how the shovel snow properly from around your car if it gets stuck in snow.


9. Use Winter-grade Oil for Your Car

When you take your car for service, you should switch to using winter-grade oil. You do not want to use your usual oil that you use in other seasons such as spring, fall, and summer, but winter-grade oil instead, as it performs poorly during winter.

Any other oil will freeze during winter when it comes into contact with your car’s windshield. Winter-grade oil will not freeze on your windshield, loosen up the ice and snow, and make it easier for you to keep your windshield clean.

If you want to drive your car in the winter and minimize the risk of it breaking down or malfunctioning during snow, you need to prepare your car for winter.

Do you have other tips for getting your car ready for fall and winter? Share them by commenting below or on our Facebook page.


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