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Ways to Winterize Your Car

Last updated July. 24, 2020

The winter season is normally tough on humans. What most of us fail to understand is that it is equally tough on most of our properties, including cars.

Just as the season can affect your mood, your productivity, and your health, it affects different aspects of your car.

The fierce weather conditions of the winter can wreak havoc on car’s exterior, interior, and inner working.

To combat winter we normally make critical lifestyle changes. We change several things around our homes and offices.

To be in the best shape, some people change how they work, how they play, and even how they eat. Our cars deserve these changes, too.

To keep your car in top shape for the season, you need to winterize it. Do you know how to go about this? Here, we will briefly discuss the primary ways to properly winterize your car.


Check the Battery

Your car battery is one of the parts that are most affected by cold weather. The power of most car batteries is greatly reduced by cold weather; the reduction can be as much as 50% when the temperature gets too low, which will significantly affect even a fully charged battery.

Also, remember that the car engine will need more power from the battery during the cold season. This is why you will observe that many cars will not start easily on cold mornings.

Start with a battery load test and see if there is a need to change the battery. Corrosion on the posts and connections should be cleaned up too.

If you have no idea how to do any of these, have your mechanic check it out.

Attend To the Wiper Blade and Wiper Fluid

Poor visibility is a major problem during the winter season. This is mostly caused by precipitation and salt on the windshield. You need your wiper blade to be in top condition to deal with the issue.

It is best to change the wiper blade just before the season sets in. If winter is usually severe in your area, investing in wiper blades that are specifically designed for winter will be better. You should also top off your wiper fluid reservoir with a brand that has a lower freezing temperature.

Check Your Four-Wheel & All-Wheel Drive

When your four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive is working perfectly, it will provide better traction when you are driving on a snowy and icy road.

You definitely need it to be in top shape during winter. This is not something you can do on your own. Let your mechanic check your 4WD or AWD.

A good mechanic will ensure that they engage smoothly to provide the needed extra traction.

You should also reacquaint yourself with your 4WD if you haven't used in a while. You will definitely need it to drive safely during the season.


Attend To the Tires

You need strong tires to drive safely during the winter season. You need to keep them properly inflated to get the best possible contact between the road and the tires.

Cold weather causes air pressure in your tires to drop. Check the tire pressure regularly and fill them up to the recommended pressure regularly. You should also fill a spare tire.

If you are truly concerned about tire pressure and the consequences of driving with poor tires, consider investing in snow tires. They are perfect for the season.

Check Your Anti-Freeze Mixture

Your radiator is another important place you need to pay attention to as the winter season sets in. The mixture of anti-freeze and water has to be at 50:50 to prevent the coolant from freezing.

This can be adjusted appropriately, depending on how bad the temperature condition gets in your area. This is one of the checks you can handle yourself.

There are inexpensive anti-freeze testers you can pick from local auto part stores. If you are not too confident, have your mechanic check it out.

Change the Oil and Adjust Viscosity

Your engine needs to be lubricated properly in order to run smoothly. You need it to be in top condition during the winter and that means you have to make sure that lubrication is adequate.

Since cold weather reduces the effectiveness of lubrication oil, it is important that you change the oil at the beginning of the season.

You also need to make sure that the viscosity (the thickness or thinness of oil) is appropriate.

Your car manual should have the right information, and you need to use the type of oil recommended by the manufacturers.

Check the Belts and Hoses

Extreme cold also weakens your belts and hoses that make your engine to run smoothly.

It is important, therefore, that you check your belts and hoses even before the winter sets in fully. Check for signs of wear and tear and replace any of them if there is a need for that.


Do a Complete System Check

You don’t have to neglect anything about your car this season. You have to perform a complete system check once in a while to ensure that everything is in order.

Inspect your headlights, taillights, turn signals, rear-window defrosters, heating systems, seat belts, and the electronics to ensure that they are all in great conditions. Fixed whatever needs to be fixed before replace all damaged parts.

Tune Up Your Vehicle

Your vehicle needs routine maintenance year-round. The winter is a special time to get it tuned up.

Extreme cold has a serious effect on almost all parts of the car and a qualified mechanic has to have a look at just before the winter season sets in. Everything has to be in top shape, and only your mechanic can certify that.

Prepare an Emergency Supplies Kit

No matter how tuned up your car is, the unexpected can occur. Most of the issues discussed above can significantly lower the chances of experiencing any issues with your car during the winter season, but life is unpredictable.

You have to make sure you are ready for eventualities. A good vehicle emergency kit will include jumper cables, tool kit, tire chains, tire gauge, tire changing essentials, flashlight, first aid kit, deicing fluid, extra coolant, cleaning towels, blanket, snow cap, and water bottles.

You can add other things you feel you need. You need to winterize your car for two main reasons: for your safety, and to protect the car from avoidable troubles. The points discussed above are the best ways to go about it.

If you have any further questions, contact us and we would be happy to help you.