Winter is coming—actually. With the brisk winds around us outside, it feels like winter is already here. But, the first day of winter is actually until December 21, so the coldest days are still ahead of us. With that being said, you want to make sure your vehicle is prepared! There are all of these in-depth articles floating around of how you can prepare your car for winter, so I’ve compiled the easiest, most realistic steps you should actually take to make sure your car is winterized!
Check your tires. Winter can take a serious toll on your tires. For ever 10° the temperature drops, you tires lose about 1 pound of pressure, leading to underinflated tires—which is seriously dangerous to drive on regardless, but especially in rain or snow. Also, worn tires with little tread make driving very risky. So, make sure your tire pressure is at a comfortable state, and check the tread of your tires.
Do the penny test on your tires! It’s an easy hack to check the tread left on your tires. Stick a penny head first into a groove of your tire, if you can still fully see Lincoln’s head, then that’s a sure sign you have little tread left and it’s time for new tires!
Check your battery. Cold temperatures can strain your battery, especially if you’re always parking outside. Have your battery checked and replaced if it is running low—better safe than sorry.
Check your wipers & wiper fluid. This maintenance task often goes overlooked, but if you’re stuck in a winter storm, you want your wipers to be working at their best. Wiper blades typically last 6-12 months, so make sure you have fresh, working blades so you don’t compromise your car’s visibility. And for wiper fluid, this is also essential for ensuring the best visibility for your car. Top off your fluid levels with washer fluid (since it won’t freeze) just to be safe.
Check your oil. When was the last time you had your oil changed? A pre-winter oil change is an easy way to help prepare your engine for the harsher winter driving conditions.
Get your brakes checked. Brakes are always important, especially when it’s slippery and cold outside. So, for good measure, have them checked while you’re at it, especially if you notice any changes in your car’s performance.
Check your headlights. Walk around your car and give all of your lights a self inspection. Just make sure they are not cloudy or dirty, you want them shining to their full potential. You can always wax your lights to somewhat prevent icicles from forming on them.
Get your antifreeze mixture checked. This is essential especially in colder weather. The mixture of antifreeze and water in your radiator should be at about 50:50, to prevent the coolant from freezing. If you are checking this yourself, just grab an inexpensive anti-freeze tester at your local auto part store!
Last but not least, stock up on emergency supplies. If you’re a worrier or not, it is always better to be safe than sorry. You never know what might happened, so you want to be prepared for whatever might come your way. So if you don’t have one already, keep an emergency supply pack in your car just in case!