Easy Tips to Winterize Your Car

December 12, 2014

As you’re bringing out the warmer clothes and snow boots remember that it’s the perfect time to winterize your car.

by Elisa Hindes

 

The calendar may say that it’s fall, but winter has made an early appearance in Colorado and many other places around the country.  As the temperature drops we all start bundling up and taking precautions to stay safe and warm.  But don’t forget that the cold weather can wreak havoc on your car as well.  In order to avoid unsafe conditions, or even a vehicle that won’t start or breaks down, follow these simple tips winterize your car.

  • Salt on the roads leaves a layer of film on your windshield. Be sure to get a high-quality washer fluid that is rated to at least -25 degrees.
  • Remove wet car mats at the end of the day and bring them inside to dry. Excess moisture in the mats can cause your windows to ice up as your heater warms the car.
  • Check your car’s belts and hoses. Cold weather can weaken the belts and hoses in your car.  These always get checked during a regular oil change, but when the temperature drops it’s a good idea to take a look, or have your mechanic do it, and make sure everything looks in working order.
  •  Replace your windshield wipers. You want to have the best visibility possible when you’re driving in winter weather.  Don’t forget a good ice scraper and snow brush to clean the windshield properly.
  • Check your battery. Batteries last about three to five years so if it is time for a new one, replace it now.  If your battery doesn’t need replacing you should at least check the clamps and cables for signs of corrosion.  Also make sure your battery has enough fluid inside.
  • Check your tires. Make sure they are in good condition for the icy roads or think about investing in snow tires.  You also need to make sure they are properly inflated, as low tires will decrease traction significantly.
  • Pack an emergency kit and store it in the car. The kit should contain a blanket, flashlight, bottled water, matches, windshield de-icer, snacks, and a first aid kit.

 

Images courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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