What Do I Need to Do to Prepare My Car for the Cold Weather?

Winter is coming, and as a car owner, you’re probably less than thrilled to be dealing with the added hassle that colder weather brings. Nothing will prevent the seasons from changing, but a few things you do now during the warmer weather to prepare your car for colder weather can assure a winter of less headaches. Make it a priority to get these tasks done before the first snowflake falls!

Perform Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance on your vehicle is important no matter the season – it promises a longer, healthier life for your car. However, it’s especially important that you give your car a little love and care before winter, as any lingering issues you aren’t aware of can be exacerbated due to the extreme colds of winter. Plus, you’ll be less likely to check on your car during bouts of less forgiving weather. While you should go through your regular checklist of items, pay special attention to your car’s fluid levels, brakes, and windshield wipers.

Examine Your Tires

During your routine maintenance check on your car, be sure not to miss taking a look at your tires. Having a healthy set of tires on your car during the winter will help prevent slipping and sliding on the road. The tires should be properly inflated to your car manual’s specifications, and their treads should be able to pass the penny test. If you expect you’ll be driving through harsh conditions during the winter, it might be a good idea to get some winter tires, which will provide better traction.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

You should carry an emergency kit in your car at all times, but it’s especially helpful during the winter. Here are some of the things you should consider keeping in the trunk of your car: gloves, a first aid kit, a blanket, an extra battery for your phone, an ice scraper, a shovel, and non-perishable snacks. While you may not like how much room these items take up in your trunk, you’ll be thankful for them if you break down.

Keep Your Car Covered

Your car’s appearance may not be as crucial as some of the other concerns on this list, but keeping your car unprotected from the weather of winter can be harmful to its resale value. Obviously, your best course of action is keep your car parked in a garage throughout the season. This option isn’t realistic for everyone, though; even if your home has a garage, you probably leave your car unprotected if you commute to work. Investing in a cover for your car can prevent rust issues and prevent ice from and salt from damaging the paint job.

These tips will help keep your car functioning properly during the winter, but there’s always a chance that your car could break down. So, not only should your car be ready for the winter, but you should be as well. It’s worth thinking through a game plan in the event that you do have to stop on the side of the road for an extended period of time. A little time spent preparing before winter can save you a lot of trouble in the unfortunate case of a breakdown.

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