Preparing Your Car for Winter
The last thing you want on a cold, blustery, and even snowy day is to get stuck on the side of the road. Bad tires, a dead battery, or engine problems are no fun at any time of year, but they’re worse in the winter. Now is the time to get your vehicle ready for the winter months ahead and avoid sitting in the cold while you wait for a tow truck.
Have Your Vehicle Serviced
Your vehicle should be on a regular service schedule all year long, but life gets busy and it’s easy to forget. Have the weird sound, funny idling, or annoying “check engine” light looked over by your mechanic before the cold sets in. This a good time to replace your old windshield wiper blades, check the brakes and transmission, change the oil, and replace your filters. Once winter arrives you’ll know your vehicle is in good shape.
Switch to Winter Fluids
Talk to your mechanic or, if you know how, change out the fluids in your vehicle to those appropriate for winter.
- Make sure you use a winter coolant - the old coolant will need to be flushed so it’s likely you’re going to need to go to your mechanic for this one.
- Read your owner’s manual to see if you need to switch to a thinner oil. Talk to your mechanic about this when you take your vehicle in for service.
- Add freeze-resistant wiper fluid. People forget this part, until they need to see out of their windshield in winter.
Put On Snow Tires
Technically, you can use an all-season tires for the entire year, but snow tires are made for tough winter weather. Make sure you change all four tires at the same time. Having a mix of summer and snow tires can lead to accidents and problems on the road. If you live in a rural area with rough back roads, you may want to consider the snow tires with studs.
Check Your Battery
Batteries die more easily in cold weather. Make sure you have yours checked by a mechanic or check it yourself before winter arrives. Make sure the connections are snug and there are no cracks or breaks in the cables. If you know your car battery is nearing the end of it’s life, now is a good time to replace it.
Pack an Emergency Kit
Keeping an emergency kit in your truck is a good idea all year long, but in winter, it can mean the difference between life and death. Getting stuck on the side of the road during a blizzard can take a scary turn if you’re not prepared. Your emergency kit should include road flares, a jack and lug wrench set, flashlights and extra batteries, a first aid kit, at least one blanket, a bag of sand or extra traction if you get stuck in the snow, an ice scraper and brush, a small shovel, snacks, and an extra container of coolant. You never know what will make you pull over, but not having what you need will have you out in the cold longer than necessary.
Check Your Auto Insurance
Accidents happen in any kind of weather, but damage to your vehicle is much more likely during the winter months. Make sure you have collision and comprehensive coverage, roadside assistance, and other protection before winter arrives. Contact Ross Insurance today, and we can provide a quote for newer, better, or more comprehensive auto insurance for your vehicle.