How To Prepare Your Car For Winter In Eight Easy Steps
You probably wouldn’t dream of facing a long, cold winter without a coat, boots or at least a scarf. It would be ridiculous to assume that you could simply continue to wear your summer wardrobe even after the temperature outside drops below freezing. And yet, too many of us expect the equivalent of our cars. It’s easy to take your vehicle for granted and assume that it will continue to deliver the same level of performance even in the harshest conditions. However, it’s crucial to know how to prepare your car for winter if you want to get the most out of it. Likewise, it’s best to take a few extra steps as the weather gets colder so you’ll be ready if the worst-case scenario comes to pass. With that in mind, here are eight tips to help ensure that you and your ride will make it through safely to the spring.
1. Check Your Coolant
Coolant can become dirty after a while, which impacts how well it works. It also may become contaminated with water that can freeze in your radiator. Checking the levels and replacing it every few years is important to keep everything running smoothly.
2. Top Off Your Wiper Fluid
You’ll be cleaning a lot of road salt off your windshield over the next few months, so make sure you have enough wiper fluid to last a while. This will prevent you from having to drive with reduced visibility.
3. Replace Wiper Blades
Worn-out blades can lead to streaking, which can be dangerous when it’s freezing outside. Water left behind on your windshield can freeze quickly, blocking your vision. There are a number of heavy-duty blades on the market today that are made specifically for handling wintry conditions.
4. Check the Battery
When the mercury falls, your car’s battery can have trouble generating the power you need to start your engine. Perform a load test or ask your mechanic to do one so you can tell whether or not it’s time to get a new one. Also, look to see if there are any visible cracks in the cables or terminals.
5. Prepare an Emergency Kit
You don’t want to end up stuck in the snow without essentials, so it’s a good idea to prepare a winter driver’s emergency pack to store in your trunk. This should include winter tools for a car, such as an ice scraper and jumper cables, as well as personal items such as spare gloves, hats and a first aid kit.
6. Clean Out the Interior
It’s best to get a fresh start with your interior before you add all of the dirty snow and mud from your boots. Keeping the car clean in the winter will save you a lot of work when the summer comes and help protect your detailing from salt and sand. Buying a fresh set of winter floor mats for a car can go a long way to keeping the inside clean.
7. Inspect Your Brakes
It should go without saying that you’ll be counting on your brakes when the roads get slippery. Have them inspected — and replace worn pads as soon as you find them.
8. Check Your Tires
Likewise, you want your tires to be in top condition when they have to hit the road. Make sure they’re properly inflated and have enough tread to give you the traction you will need.
Facing the colder months without being prepared is a recipe for disaster. If you’re looking for another car to carry you safely through the cold and snow and then beyond, look no further than Capital Auto Auction. We have an extensive selection of good-quality used vehicles that you can buy at an auction at prices you can appreciate. Browse our online inventory or check the schedule of our live events to get started.