See a theme here?? Winter is here early, and it’s here to stay. So I guess we must embrace the cold temperatures, the ice, snow and slush that has already started. However, this doesn’t mean you have to face all this unprepared; take these simple steps to preparing your car for the winter.
This post is sponsored by Reedman-Toll Subaru
Get a Tune Up
You should keep your vehicle maintained no matter what, but with extreme cold temps, it can definitely affect your car. You want to make sure that you’ve done everything you can to make sure its ready. If you don’t take your car to the service department to get a tune up, at least make sure to check your wiper fluid level and make sure its full, and using a deicer windshield wiper fluid is the best idea.
You should also check your oil, and even switch to a winter-grade oil. The oil’s viscosity is affected by cold temps, and your engine’s oil becomes thinner as temperatures rises, so of course in warmer climates a thicker and higher viscosity oil will help keep your engine pretty lubricated – and for the same reason, the heavier oil isn’t as effective in the cold. So just check the owners manual and make sure you are using the right one.
Also be sure to check things like your cooling system, your battery is in good shape (test it) and check hoses to make sure the rubber is in good shape.
Check Your Tires
When temperatures go down, usually so does the air pressure in your tires. Tires can lose pressure at a rate of about one pound per 10 degrees F ; and low tire pressure can be super dangerous , and affects how you handle your car. So make sure they are properly inflated.
If you are in an area with a ton of snow, I would probably recommend snow tires, which are made specifically for that type of weather.
Make Check List of Other Important ‘Stuff’
There are still other things that you need to worry about, like making sure that your headlights are in working order (be sure to clean the lenses, and replace any burnt out bulbs), make sure you have good working windshield wipers since they ware and dry out pretty easily, and you need wipers in good shape to maintain good visibility especially if a storm is headed your way!
Make Sure You Have a ‘Winterized’ Emergency Kit
Emergency kits are great to have, and you should already have one in your car (if you don’t, do it) you also want to add an extra ‘winter’ emergency kit, or add items to your kit once winter weather hits. You want to include things such as: a shovel, gloves, ice scraper, kitty litter (see my post on how to get your car unstuck from the snow) a emergency thermal blankets, some matches/a lighter, flares, etc. It’s one thing to break down in the summer, it is a whole other ball game to get stranded in the winter.
Even though winter presents a whole different set of problems when it comes to travel, with some preparation and proper maintenance, you should be ready to handle the cold!