It’s time to winterize your car! Even if the thermometer hasn’t dropped down into freezing temperatures, you know the cold weather is coming. Before the chill sinks in, you need to get your car winterized and ready to meet and beat the challenges that winter will bring. It’s not just important for keeping your car in running condition. Winterizing your car may even save your life! Here are a few tips to help you get started.
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How to Winterize Your Car
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Stock Up on Winter Supplies
As you prepare to winterize your car, look at your supplies and see what you need to restock. The best time to stock up on the stuff you need for cold weather is before the cold weather hits. Stock your car with de-icer, extra ice scrapers, and update your emergency kit. For a winter emergency kit to keep in your car you should include hand warmers, blankets (check camping supplies for emergency blankets that are made of mylar and are very compact), extra gloves, non-perishable snacks and bottled water, flashlights and extra batteries. You will also want to include rock salt, ice melt or even a bag of non-scooping cat litter (for traction on icy surfaces).
Have Your Engine Oil Changed
Before the winter cold starts, you should have your engine oil changed. Consult your manufacturer’s instructions about changing over to a thinner oil like 5W-30 for the colder temperatures. You can also ask your mechanic about switching for the fall and winter seasons.
You will need to have your engine coolant and windshield washer fluids checked before it gets too cold. Make sure the engine coolant that is in your car contains ethylene glycol for best performance. Because your engine needs a mixture of coolant and water, you may need to take it to a professional mechanic or service center to have it checked and leveled out properly.
For your windshield washer fluid, you may want to choose a fluid that contains antifreeze or de-icer.
Check Your Tires
Before you need to deal with icy, wet, slushy or snowy roads, you will need to make sure your tires are ready. Check the treads to make sure you don’t have slick spots. If your tread is getting too thin, it may be time to invest in new tires before you run into bad weather.
Check Your Battery Connections
Your car battery will have to work a little harder when the weather is colder, so be sure to check the connections. Make sure your battery is ready to handle the lower temperatures and be ready to start your car on those frosty mornings. Check the cables for cracks or breaks and make sure the terminals fit well and are not loose. Check the battery fluid levels and add distilled water if necessary.
It’s a wise move to get your car ready to handle the coming winter. Since you never know what kind of weather you will need to deal with, it’s important to have your car prepared for cold weather and the possibility of being stuck in the cold for a length of time. Make sure you have plenty of emergency supplies in your vehicle, and make sure those supplies are accessible in case you need them.
Looking for more tips to get through the winter? Check out our Pinterest board!
How do you winterize your car? Tell us in the comments!
5 thoughts on “How to Winterize Your Car & Keep Your Family Safe”
Great tips! I’m in Chicago so things like emergency kits and de-icer are a must! Thanks for the reminders & the things I hadn’t thought of (like battery connectors)!!
For Love of Cupcakes
These are great tips! After last year’s nightmare snowjam here in atlanta I make sure the car is in top working condition and keep it stocked with emergency supplies!
Wonderful tips – I can create a check list and give it to my dad not to miss an important point before the winter hits us.
Thanks a lot!
We always check the tires before winter hits.
Great tips – thankfully I don’t have to worry about this since I live in FL but I’ll be passing along to my northern friends.