How to Prepare Your Car for Winter in 6 Easy Steps

prepare your car

Your BBB® would like to remind everyone that it’s never too late to prepare your car for the winter season. According to Ed Gliss, Michelin tester and technical expert, the best time to start preparing your car for the cold season is right before Thanksgiving. If you didn’t get a chance to work on that though, all is not lost. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Monitor tire pressure

Make sure to check your tire pressure once a month—cold air can make it drop considerably. Under-inflated tires cause your car to drive slower and waste more fuel. The pressure is measured by pounds per square inch. If you don’t know what your PSI should be, you may be able to find it inside the driver’s door jam. Also, there are different types of tires out there and not all of them perform the same way in cold weather. If the temperatures drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, you will need all-season tires.

2. Test your battery

Cold weather lowers your battery capacity, which is why you need to have it checked regularly. Take it to a mechanic and have an inspection done on it to make sure it’s in working condition. Gliss says: “It becomes increasingly important to have a well-performing battery in those cooler temperatures. It’s just harder on the cells and it robs their battery capacity”. Another way to protect your battery is to park in a garage, away from the cold. And don’t forget your jumper cables: better to be safe than sorry!

3. Inspect your windshields and wiper blades

Windshield chips and cracks are very likely to worsen in extremely cold weather, so you may want to fix them ahead of time. Also, consider replacing your wiper blades and using a washer fluid that’s labeled “for subfreezing temperatures”.

4. Get your car waxed

A nice coat of wax can protect your car from road salt corrosion. If you live in an area where it snows a lot, remember that salt will build up on the lower parts of your vehicle, behind the wheels, quarter panels and front grille. You may want to have your car washed even if the exterior looks fine.

5. Inspect your headlights and brake lights

Visibility is crucial in bad weather, which is why you should have your headlights and brake lights checked periodically. Also, having your brakes checked is a must—icy roads are the main reason for winter accidents.

6. Emergency Kit

Other than your medical kit, you also need to have water, some food, blankets, a flashlight and a shovel in your car. And here’s another tip: download a weather app and check it before leaving the house. You know what they say: expect the unexpected!

Prepare your car for the cold season and read The Beacon for more tips!

This winter season, have your car inspected and stay safe! For more information you can trust, visit bbb.org/Evansville!

prepare your car

About Oana Schneider 89 Articles
Oana Schneider is our Director of Media Services. She writes consumer and business oriented articles and is in charge of our community outreach program.

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