Useful Car Tips

Is Your Car Winter Ready?

December 11, 2018
A car can be considered the most dangerous contraption that mankind has ever invented. Cars need plenty of maintenance to run smoothly, especially during the winter months. Snow and ice make it difficult for even the most experienced drivers to be out on the road. Here are some tips to make sure your car is ready to take on the harsh winter months.

From Season to Season New Wiper Blades are Needed

Rain or snow in extreme weather tends to freeze over quickly. Wiper blades with the rubber will prevent build-up of ice. It is important to remember that winter blades are heavier than windshield wiper blades used for the three other seasons, be sure to switch them out.

Snow Tires for Traction

In harsh weather, snow and ice tend to build up on the road so beware for black ice. One way to avoid slipping and sliding on the pavement would be to equip your car with winter tires. Unlike non-winter tires, winter tires possess the property of special compounds that avoid hardening in freezing temperatures, this allows them to hug the road preventing slipping. Basically it boils down to this basic equation, Winter Tires + Car = Better Traction. How do you know when you should switch from your non-winter tires to snow tires? Well, it should be done before harsh weather rolls in. If you can see your breath, it’s time to put on those snow tires. Some areas experience worse weather than others. In these areas it may be smart to wrap chains around your tires so that in addition to those snow tires you are also providing maximum traction. It does no one any good to have the chains and not know how to use them, so familiarize yourself with equipping the chains to your car safely and properly. This is a very extreme measure for extreme conditions.

Have Enough Washer Fluid?

Snow and Ice have the tendency of making your windshield dirty and hard to see out of. It is important to be able to see clearly out of your windshield so be sure to have enough wiper fluid available. It may be smart to keep a couple of bottles in the trunk as well. Having a nearly full fluid reservoir will aid in preparing your car for the winter months. Windshield wiper fluid with de-icer properties work best.

Safety First

No matter the season, safety should always be your number one priority. Keeping a roadside kit during all seasons would be smart. What should you have in that winter roadside kit you ask? Ice Scraper (it works better than your hands), Bag of sand and a shovel (to get you out of situations you find yourself stuck in), Cellphone (you never know who you might need to call), Flares, First Aid Kit, Extra Antifreeze, Flashlight and batteries (some roads have no street lights, humans don’t see well in the dark), Car Jack (you can’t lift a car with your hands to change a tire), Jumper cables (need a boost?), Warm clothing, Non-perishable food and beverages, and Matches. In case of emergency, these items are sure to get you through even the toughest of winter nights until help arrives.

Is Everything Running Smoothly?

Cars are just as much work as yourself, they can be classified as “high maintenance.” Properly servicing your car throughout the year should be a priority for you. Right before winter begins, make sure to have your belts and hoses, spark plugs, wires and cables checked. If these parts go bad in the winter while driving down a dark and lonely rode well you may be stuck there for quite some time. Also, be sure your mechanic checks your car battery as well as your air conditioning and heating system. You definitely do not want to be sitting in a car that has a blown tire, and no heat in freezing weather.

How’s The Pressure?

Air pressure of your tires coexists with the gas laws of chemistry and physics. Each tires PSI is different and as the temperature varies by ten degrees you may gain or lose 1 PSI. Check the pressure regularly and refill the tires at your local gas station air pumps as needed. Also, know where to find the appropriate PSI for each of your 4 tires, it is usually found on the inner side of the driver side door.

Got Gas?

Having a full tank helps in two ways, a) prevents the gas line from freezing in winter weather (less damage done), and b) being stranded may cause you to keep your car running in order to keep the heat on. The easiest way to avoid an empty tank during winter is to fill up whenever you get to half a tank.

Do You See What I See?

Rear view mirrors weren’t put in cars just for show. Just as your windshield helps you see, so does your rear view. In the cold weather, hot breath in the car will make your windows fog up. Be sure to have your defroster working properly to aid in clearing the condensation in the air. The rear view defroster will also aid in melting away some snow that may get stuck to your car.


Clear all the snow off the car before getting behind the wheel, that includes the windshield, rear view, tops and sides of your car. Don’t speed in harsh weather! Give yourself enough time to get from point A to B. Keep a safe distance from other cars. Stopping short on a slippery road may lead to a car accident. It’s not worth it to risk an accident. Hopefully with these tips, you AND your car will be prepared for the harsh winter. Stay warm!
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