Is your car ready for winter?


Over one-quarter of driving accidents each year are affected by bad winter weather conditions, resulting in vehicle and property damage, injury and death. That’s why it’s so important to make sure, as heavy rain, snow, sleet, fog, wind and ice return, that you, your family and car are protected.

Here are a few ways to make sure you’re ready for whatever winter throws your way:

Change your wipers: Bad visibility is a top reason drivers get in accidents, especially in winter. If your windshield wipers are leaving streaks or wiper blades appear dry, stiff or cracked, it’s time to replace them. While you’re at it, buy an extra set and leave them in your trunk, along with a full container of washer solution that contains antifreeze.

Turn on the AC: It may sound counter-intuitive, but if your windows are fogging and frosting up from the cold outside, your vehicle’s air conditioning, even set to a warm temperature, will help by removing humidity.

Check the lights: Snow, slush and dirt can cover up your headlights (and brake lights), reducing visibility for you and other cars around you. Wipe your lights on a regular basis, especially after long drives and bad weather conditions.

Check your battery: Car batteries are less effective in cold weather conditions and engine oil gets thicker, making it more difficult for your car to turn over. Have your car battery professionally tested and replaced if it’s on its last legs. The last thing you need is a dead battery in the middle of a snowstorm.

Warm up your engine: If you live in an area where the temperature drops significantly and if you often park outside, consider an engine block heater that can be plugged into an electrical outlet.

Lube your locks: Moisture in your car door or trunk locks can freeze in very cold conditions and make them hard to open. Use a silicone spray to lubricate your locks before it gets really cold. And if you’re already locked out, lock antifreeze can help.

For even more useful ways to protect yourself in winter, click here and here. And please remember to share your own winter driving tips and experiences in the Shop Talk blog community forum.

Did you know? Be ready for an emergency

Keeping an emergency kit, including road flares, a jack, flashlight, blanket, ice scraper, sand, snacks and first aid kit, in your trunk is always a good idea, especially in winter.

14 thoughts on “Is your car ready for winter?

  1. My car is a lease so the mechanical things I leave to the dealer. I always keep a couple of old towels in the trunk so I can clean off the lights. I think turning on the A/C is a good suggestion for defogging the
    windows, I have not heard that one before.

  2. I live in the south so we don’t have to worry too much about winter driving. We do check our wipers and windshield fluid which is very important anytime of year.

  3. my car is always ready for anything i keep my car like new oil change every 3 months or 3,000 miles whichever comes first same with my transmission every 6 months service all other is inspected by me i love my car it is part of our family if we did not have we would be on foot so always take care of your car and it will take care of you

  4. A little Vaseline on door seals can keep them from sticking. It helps the water bead away so it doesn’t seep in and freeze. If you don’t use Rain-x, that has the same effect on your windows, making it easier to see when it rains, and ice easier to scrape.

  5. One more think to keep in your emergency kit is jumper cables! They are not expensive and so worth the $$ when you are having battery problems. Also, good to check battery to see if it needs replacing now BEFORE you get into the cold temperatures which always brings out the worst in older batteries. It’s cheaper to shop around and buy now than to be in emergency and need to get one in a rush!

  6. This is rediculous for those of us who live in FL. Yes some days it does go all the way down to 50 but that is not very often. thank G_d.

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