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Tips for Winter Preparation for Your Car

October 24, 2013

Prepare your car for winter weather and winter driving with
a few easy steps. Many service shops offer winterization packages at reasonable
prices. Even if you live in a warmer area, use late fall as a time to check
these items.

  1. Check the freezing point of your antifreeze. Do this when the engine is cold. A
    50/50 mixture is adequate for all but the most extremely cold climates.
  1. Check the battery and charging system. Cold weather starts work your battery much
    harder than usual.
  1. Get an oil and filter change. Fresh, high quality oil protects your motor during
    cold starts. Use the oil recommended by your car’s manufacturer.
  1. Check
    all the lights including taillights, brake lights, hazard lights,
    headlights and driving lights. Keep the lights clean, especially in foul weather
    or when the roads are slushy and dirty.
  1. Check your tire tread to make sure you have good traction on snow and ice. Keep
    tires inflated to the recommended PSI.
  1. Switch to special winter wiper blades that cut through snow, ice and slush on
    your windshield.
  1. Use washer fluid containing de-icer. Clear the spray nozzles of your
    windshield washer system using a pin or needle to clear any blockages.
  1. Make windshield ice removal easier by using Rain-X on the windows before
    weather hits.
  1. Check the engine hoses and belts. Replace any that have cracks or wear-and-tear,
    because they will break in cold temperatures.
  1. Get your brakes checked and replace worn brake pads.
  1. Check your heating system, thermostat and defroster.
  1. Replace the cabin air filter to avoid pushing contaminants from driving deep into
    the car.
  1. Wash, dry and thoroughly wax your car. The wax adds a barrier between your car’s
    paint and road grit, ice melt and salt solutions
  1. Have an emergency kit in your car, including a flashlight, fresh batteries,
    blankets, power bars, bottled water, flares,  jumper cables, a “help” sign, a first aid
    kit, “Fix-a-Flat” solution, your cell phone and a charger.
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