How Do I Prepare My Car for Winter?

winter

Your car needs special care and attention during the cold months. To keep it running smoothly, follow these steps:

  • Change your oil and oil filter regularly: Make sure you follow the recommendations as specified in your manual. You might want to change your oil more often if your driving is mostly stop-and-go or your driving habits consist of frequent short trips. Extreme cold weather (below -25 degrees Fahrenheit) may require a different blend of motor oil for your vehicle. If you need assistance changing your oil and filter, contact a professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, to change your oil and filter for you at a low cost.

  • Have the cooling system checked: It needs to be properly operating. If you haven't had system flush in a while, consider performing a cooling system flush to keep your system in top condition.

  • Have the heater and defroster checked: When driving, passenger comfort and driver visibility is very important.

  • Replace old wiper blades regularly: Driving with old blades is dangerous and can prevent you from seeing the road in front of you, regularly replace old wiper blades to maintain a safe field of vision. In extreme conditions, use rubber-clad (winter) blades to fight ice build-up. Stock up on windshield washer solvent. And don’t forget to always carry an ice scraper.

  • Have your battery checked: The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. A weak battery will have no reserve energy to start a car when temperatures drop. Make sure to replace a weak or dead battery to make sure you don't get stuck with a vehicle that refuses to start.

  • Inspect all lights and bulbs: Replace burned out bulbs and periodically clean road grime from all lenses.

  • Examine all tires: Check your tires for uneven wear and the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. Check tire pressure once a week, letting the tires “cool down” before checking the pressure. Rotate tires as recommended. Under-inflated tires or poorly aligned wheels make your engine work harder and use excess gasoline.

  • Stock an emergency kit: It has to contain gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a small shovel, sand or kitty litter, tire chains, a flashlight, a cell phone, and an extra car charger. Put a few calorie-rich snacks and some drinking water in your glove box.

If you need further information on things to know about winter driving, consider looking at an in depth article highlighting essential things to know about winter driving. To ensure you have a reliable car, take these useful tips seriously so you manage to stay clear out of any dangerous situations.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

More related articles

P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance Related Trouble Codes: P2158: Vehicle Speed Sensor B P2160: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Circuit Low P2161:...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P0359 OBD-II Trouble Code: Ignition Coil I Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction
P0359 code definition The P0359 code indicates that a fault has been detected in one of the vehicle’s ignition coils, generally the number 9 coil. This code can also be associated...

Related questions

Q: How do I use the emergency release in the RamBox side storage unit?

The RamBox side storage units have an emergency release, in case of an event where someone gets locked in the box. To use the emergency release, pull on the glow in the dark tag inside the storage unit, and the...

Q: Does it helps to run A/C or Compressor (by moving the knob to blue) during winter.

You can try to run it a couple time a month just to circulate the oil through the system. Yet, in most cases the a/c compressor may not come on if the temperature is too cold. You should use the...

Q: What do the service codes displayed in the Maintenance Minder™ mean?

While your Maintenance Minder™ is primarily designed to let you know when it’s time for your next oil change, it also displays codes for other needed services based on vehicle mileage. There are several different codes that can be displayed,...