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Winter Car Preparation Checklist

cars in winter snowFill With Proper Windshield Fluid

Not all windshield fluid is created equal. Your washer fluid does much more than just clean the windshield in the winter time. The anti-freeze in winter washer fluid can de-ice the windshield and play an essential role in getting you home during a snowstorm. Be sure to fill your reservoir with the proper fluid for the winter time.

Make Sure Battery Does Not Need Replacing

If your battery is getting old it is only going to suffer more when the temperatures get cold. There is also nothing worse than having a car that doesn’t start when you are stuck in the freezing cold. Make sure that your battery is up to par before the temperatures really start to drop.

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Flush coolant system

Have your coolant system flushed before the winter. Replacing the coolant and flushing the system will give you the best chance at making it through the winter without a problem.

Check winter tires

You should have a set of winter tires for your vehicle and they should have ample tread depth. You should also be checking for signs of tire failure.

Check the Heat and Defroster

There is nothing worse than finding out that your windshield’s defroster doesn’t work when the windshield is already fogging. Make sure to check this as you are prepping your car for winter.

Supplies

When the time comes to prep your car for the winter season there are a few supplies that you should be sure to load up. Make sure that these items are someplace in your car.

  • Put winter blanket into car
  • Brush and ice scraper in car
  • Winter chains (optional)
  • Heavy duty tow strap or chain
  • Jumper cables

Winter Driving Survival Tips

Your tire pressures will change with the outside temperatures. As the weather gets warmer the PSI will increase. In the winter time as it gets colder your PSI will decrease and you will need to put more air into your tires in order to maintain the proper inflation levels.

Don’t run on empty. Condensation can occur inside of your gas tank, adding water to the fuel mixture that shouldn’t be there. Running your tank on empty throughout the entire winter season can increase your risk of having combustion issues due to condensation in the tank.

Start driving soon after starting the car but drive lightly until the engine warms up. Letting your car idle to “warm up” will cause your engine to wear down faster. This is because your car’s computer uses a higher % of fuel in the mixture while your car is warming up (this is done to help the engine warm up faster and it will also idle at slightly higher RPMs). This higher fuel % is bad for the walls of your engine and can cause increased wear on the cylinders. By letting your vehicle idle to warm up, you are extending the period of time that your cylinders are exposed to this more destructive fuel mixture. Driving it will warm up the engine faster, but you should be driving at low RPMs and putting minimal strain on the car.

Learn basic snow driving skills. Drive slowly while traveling down hills and around corners. Remember that you won’t be able to stop as fast in the snow so slow down far ahead of any stopped vehicles, stop signs etc. If you have never driven in the snow or you don’t know how to correct your car’s steering while sliding, we suggest that you find a safe place to practice this once the snow starts to fall. Being comfortable behind the wheel is the first step to being safe.

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