Cold weather can damage your vehicle, your driving experience, your comfort, even your safety and those of your passengers.
These easy maintenance tips will winterize your car – outside and inside.
Carry an emergency kit with gloves, blanket, flares, a shovel, flashlight, extra batteries and cell phone charger.
Make a list of emergency contacts with important phone numbers, including your auto insurance company. A list of passwords to your most important internet accounts – such as email – is a good idea, too.
Be sure to include some non-perishable snacks like power bars or trail mix, and even a bottle of water.
Tires lose pressure as temperatures drop. Even if winter conditions are mild, remember to check your pressure once a month.
Always check tires when they are cold, since pressure changes even between your driveway and the nearest gas station.
If driving where temperatures consistently approach freezing, consider a winter tire like the Michelin X-Ice Xi3, built for superior traction and handling in winter conditions.
Inspect your headlights and brake lights to ensure they’re fully functioning, which are especially important during winter fogs or heavy snow.
Also, clean them of grime that can reduce their brightness. A soft cloth and dishwasher liquid will work, or you can purchase a specialty cleaner.
Battery capacity is decreased significantly by cold weather. Before the coldest winter months, have your mechanic check it to ensure it’s at peak performance.
Be sure you have a reliable jump starter cable should you ever need someone to give you a boost.
Buy washer fluid with antifreeze solution to protect visibility and ensure windshield blades are in good working order.
It’s a good idea to replace wipers every six months, especially before cold winter months.
Heater & Defroster
Make sure the heater and defroster are in proper working condition for occupant comfort and visibility.
It sounds counter-intuitive to wax your car before an excursion that includes snow and ice, but fresh coat of wax before the snow flies can actually help protect against damage from salt and dirt.
Using winter mats in your car can go a long in keeping your car’s interior clean during the snowy, slushy months. Clean them regularly, too.
This Michelin graphic is from 2017, but the tips are valid any time, winter or any other season.