Winterizing your car will ensure it performs its best on snow-covered or icy roads. Avoid no-starts, failed spark plugs, low tire pressure, and frozen locks by doing a little extra maintenance.
Even if you do everything you can to keep your vehicle moving in all weather conditions, your car may still unexpectedly break down or get stuck. Being proactive to counteract these unplanned scenarios is the best thing you can do. If you’re wondering how to winterize your car and prepare for whatever the cold weather has in store, consider keeping these items in your trunk:
- Cat Litter: It turns out that your kitty may not be the only one who needs litter. Keeping a bag in your vehicle can assist if you get stuck. After breaking up the snow and ice blocking your tires from moving, add non-clumping clay litter in front of your stuck wheels. This measure will allow your car to get traction.
- Shovel: Whether you’re digging your vehicle out of its parking spot or trying to loosen the snow around your bogged-down wheels, a shovel will come in handy. If you have limited truck space, invest in a mini or folding option.
- Portable jump starter: Getting stranded in a vehicle that won’t start can be dangerous, especially if it’s freezing outside. If you’re in a remote location with little traffic or people to help, the situation is even more dire. A portable jump starter can boost the battery, resulting in the engine turning over. If this process doesn’t work, make sure you have a phone to call for help.
Get the Right Parts & Accessories
When looking at how to winterize your car, decide whether your vehicle needs new accessories to travel efficiently. Regular driving causes parts to wear out. Rather than risking your safety, it’s best practice to replace these items before winter.
Consider getting new tires to ensure your vehicle gets around well in the snow, slush, water or ice. Visually inspect the tread to determine whether you need to make a purchase. All-season tread works well if the winters where you live are mild; however, snow tires or tire chains are a better option if you have to deal with harsher conditions for longer.
Additionally, examine your wipers to see if the blades are cracked or whether the frame is damaged. If they are leaving streaks, you should replace them.
Lift your hood and check the oil and coolant. Consider changing the oil before the cold weather rolls in. Also, ensure the brake, transmission and power steering fluids are the correct levels and colors. Don’t forget to fill your windshield reservoir with a mix meant for winter temperatures, as it won’t freeze when you use it.
Your Winter Emergency Kit Guide
Keeping a safety kit in your car in case of an emergency can save your life. Pack a bag of essentials and leave it in your vehicle in the unfortunate circumstance you need to utilize it. Here are some necessities:
- First-aid kit
- Road flares
- Solar phone charger
- Warm clothes
When it’s time to winterize your vehicle, find a reputable store to help you get the products you need. Look for the best prices from brands you trust.