Getting Your Car Ready for Winter: Five Essential Winterization Tips

The start to winter is nearly here. While snowflakes haven’t covered the grounds yet, now’s the time to winterize your car. Bone-chilled temperatures and winter storm conditions can take a toll on your car. Some basic tips can help reduce the chance of you and your car getting stuck or acting up while on the road this season.

Check Fluids

The temperature at which liquid turns into solid is 32-degrees Fahrenheit. Winter weather on Long Island is bound to hit, so make sure to check the coolant for the right antifreeze mixture to prevent freezing from happening in your radiator. Your car’s owner’s manual will inform you of the right mixture to use.While reviewing the owner’s manual, also consider the type of oil you should be using. Thinner oil may be recommended for vehicles in areas that drop below freezing point.

Replace Worn Wipers

Review the condition of your wipers for replacement and look for freeze resistant wiper fluid. With snow, slush, ice, and dirt coating your car windows during winter, you’ll need a windshield cleaning fluid that can take on the wintry conditions of the road while driving.

Get Tires Ready

Wet, slick roads are dangerous driving conditions, and tires with low air pressure may increase chances of an accident. Your owner’s manual will provide information on the recommended PSI. Typically, under cold weather conditions, tire pressure can drop significantly. Another thing to think about is the type of tires you have. Under much snowfall conditions, you and your car will be safer on the roads with snow tires that provide improved traction. If you want to avoid having to change tires seasonally, all-season tires may also be an option, but they can lose their effectiveness when temperatures go below 45-degrees Fahrenheit.

Inspect Battery

Don’t end up on the road with a dead battery. Review the level of charge with the engine turned off and check for any cracks and breaks to the cables. Make sure you also check the battery fluid. If it’s low (below the bottom of the cap), you can refill it with distilled water.

Be Ready With An Emergency Kit

There should be an emergency kit in your vehicle regardless of the season. Some essentials to have include a jack, lug wrench, road flares, flashlight, jumper cables, blanket, snacks, water, and first aid kit. During the winter months include to your emergency stash a shovel, ice scraper/brush, sand bags, and gloves.

Following the tips above ensures you and your vehicle hit the road safely during winter!

Photo by Chad Fennell via Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

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