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Getting Your Vehicle Ready for Winter Weather

We’ve got some tips to help keep your vehicle running in good shape over the winter.

From snow, sleet, and ice to zero-degree temperatures, winter weather really takes its toll on our vehicles. Unless you have a garage (and even if you do), there are some steps you’ll want to take to make sure your car or truck stays reliable and trouble-free over the winter … even if you’d rather just stay inside your nice warm house.

Checklist for Winterizing a Vehicle

  • Check and change the windshield wiper blades. Installing new winter wipers will keep ice from forming on the blades and cracking them.

  • Keep the washer fluid full and replace it often. It’s also a good idea to add antifreeze. Antifreeze prevents the liquid from freezing.

  • Make sure the rear window defroster is working. During warm weather, this usually gets overlooked. Staying on top of this will prevent any unforeseen issues when you’re in a hurry and need to see where you’re going.
  • Lubricate the door and trunk locks with silicone spray to prevent freezing.

  • Check and maintain tire pressure. Do this frequently as changes can happen in colder weather. Change to snow tires if you live in an area that gets lots of snow and ice.

  • Always keep the gas tank at least half full.

  • Check the battery, brakes, and things like belts, hoses, and spark plugs for cracks, corrosion, or low fluid.

  • Use the correct engine oil for the temperature. Some manufacturers suggest using oil specifically designed for winter weather.

  • Wax the exterior to protect the paint from sleet, ice, and salt on the roads.

  • Keep a winter safety kit in your car. Items you might want to put in it include a blanket, flares, matches, ice scraper, flashlight, jumper cables, antifreeze, and an extra jacket, hat, and gloves. If you happen to break down, you’ll be able to stay warm and possibly get your vehicle back up and running. At the very least, you’ll be able to alert other cars with the flares.
  • Finally, it’s always a good idea to schedule a service appointment with your local dealership or auto shop to make sure everything is A-okay for winter weather.

Do you have a winterizing routine for your vehicle? Did we miss any important tips? Let us know in the comments.

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