Defensive Driving Blog

4 Steps to get your car ready for winter.

How to Winterize Your Car.

Winter is coming! Though some of us don’t have to worry about the freezing temperatures, many drivers across the United States should take these precautions into mind to ensure you and your car can get to and from your destination safely. Here’s just a few tips to help prepare your car for the winter season.

Check the car’s battery

Just like extreme heat, sudden freezing can also reduce your car’s battery capacity.

You should first check the level of charge left in your battery. Some batteries come with a built-in hydrometer meter that can tell you the voltage that is remaining, but if not, you can always get a handheld hydrometer to check for the same information. If it is too low, you should replace the battery immediately. Who wants to be stranded in the cold because your battery died?

winter is coming

While inspecting the battery, clean off any corrosion caused by battery acid that is piled up around the connectors. The most simple way we’ve found to clean this is to dip a toothbrush in a baking soda and water mix, and scrub away. Don’t forget to dry the connectors off before re-connecting your cables.

Watch this short video:

Replace the antifreeze

The purpose of antifreeze is to protect your car’s cooling system from overheating, freezing and corroding. Keeping old antifreeze running in your car gives you a higher chance of one or multiple of those things happening to the engine. And, let’s say your engine dies and you need to replace it, well that could end up costing more than the car is worth. Take your car to the mechanic, and if the antifreeze needs to be replaced, have them flush out all of the old and start new.

Replace old oil

Wireless Defensive Driving recommends this tip on a regular basis in order to lengthen the life of your engine. In the cold, engine oil thickens, putting much more stress on the engine to run smoothly. Whether you change the oil yourself or take it to the mechanic to do, do it often.

Consider snow tires

If you live in an area that often gets a lot of snow, you may want to consider getting a set of snow tires, or even snow chains, for your car. Although more expensive, these work better than a set of all-season tires, and could save you from getting stuck out in the cold.

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