Protect Your Car from Wintry Weather

The temperatures have dropped, and now, snow is popping up on local weather forecasts. You may know how to get your home ready for winter—but don’t forget about your car! Cold temperatures, snow, and ice can wreak havoc on your vehicle, inside and out.  Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to protect your car and keep it humming all winter long.

Check your fluids.

You can do this yourself or take your vehicle to your local mechanic. Make sure your radiator contains the right mixture of water and anti-freeze, and you can find that information in your owner’s manual. You can also get a tester from an auto parts store and check to see if the coolant is filled to the maximum line. Also, make sure your car has the right amount of transmission fluid, along with plenty of freeze-resistant wiper fluid to keep your windshield clean.

 

Switch out your wiper blades.

You need to replace your wiper blades at least once a year, but you should really do it every six months. This will help you keep your windshield clear during those heavy snowfalls.

 

Check your battery.

Winter temperatures reduce your battery’s power. You need to check the cables, fluid, and terminals thoroughly to make sure everything stays in good shape. If you don’t know how to do this, a mechanic is always ready to help.

 

Check your belt and hoses.

Vehicle belts and hoses can malfunction in cold weather. Have a professional inspect them every autumn.

 

Wash and Wax.

Rain, snow, dirt, and road salt can damage paint and lead to rust build-up. Wax your car before the snow falls to give it an extra layer of protection and wash it often throughout the winter. You should also wash out the wheel wells and underbody to prevent road salt-build up.

 

Consider snow tires.

If you live in a place that experiences large snowfalls, you should think about purchasing snow tires. They offer more traction and stability on the road.

 

For more information about winterizing your vehicle, check out these valuable resources: Department for Motor VehiclesCarmaxConsumer Reports.