Winter is right around the corner, and with it comes lower temperatures, snow and ice. To stay safe and keep your car running properly during this harsh season, you need to take steps to prepare before the cold arrives. Below are some tips to help you make sure your car is ready for the challenges of winter.
Check your battery
Colder weather puts more strain on your car’s charging system. Before the cold weather arrives, check your battery to make sure it is still functioning properly. If it isn’t working as well as it should, replace it before the cold weather arrives.
Examine your tires
In the winter, you are more likely to be driving on snow and ice. These conditions require that your tires be performing at their best. Check your tires for excessive wear, as this can reduce traction in slippery conditions. If your tires are showing signs of wear, replace them with a new set as soon as possible. Because tire pressure tends to drop when temperatures fall, it is important to make sure your tires are properly inflated as well.
Check all fluids
Before you begin driving in the winter months, take some time to make sure your car’s fluids are optimized. Check your oil and perform an oil change if necessary. Make sure you have plenty of windshield washer fluid, and consider adding a de-icer to increase effectiveness. In addition, you should also check your power steering fluid, brake fluid and coolant.
Replace wiper blades
During the winter, you may need to use your windshield wipers more often to remove rain, snow, ice, salt and other debris from your windshield. If your wiper blades are aging and/or have started to function poorly, replace them before you begin experiencing problems with visibility on the road.
Have a plan for emergencies
In the winter months, it is always possible to become stranded on the road because of the weather or a problem with your vehicle. Prepare for this possibility by keeping blankets, some nonperishable foods and a charged cell phone with you at all times.