up close view of car tire on snowy road

Winter Vehicle Care: Tips to Keep Your Car Safe and Running Smoothly

January 26, 2024

Winter brings with it challenges for both drivers and their vehicles. The cold temperatures, snow, and ice can take a toll on your car if you’re not prepared. To ensure your vehicle stays in top shape over the remaining winter months, here are some essential tips for winter vehicle care.

Check Your Battery

Cold weather can be tough on car batteries. Take advantage of this weekend’s warm weather and have your battery tested to ensure it’s in good condition. If it’s more than three years old, consider replacing it to avoid any unexpected breakdowns in the cold.

Inspect Your Tires

Proper tire maintenance is crucial in winter. Check the tire pressure regularly, as it tends to drop in colder temperatures. Also, make sure your tires have sufficient tread depth to provide proper traction on snow and ice. Consider switching to winter tires for enhanced performance in harsh conditions.

Change Your Oil

Cold weather can cause oil to thicken, making it harder for your engine to turn over. Switch to a winter-grade oil to ensure proper lubrication and easier engine starts in low temperatures.

Top Off Antifreeze / Coolant

Antifreeze is essential for preventing your engine from freezing in extremely cold temperatures. Check the coolant levels and top up if necessary. It’s also a good idea to have the coolant system inspected to ensure there are no leaks.

Replace Wiper Blades and Fluid

Visibility is crucial during winter driving. Replace worn-out wiper blades and ensure your windshield washer fluid is suitable for freezing temperatures. Consider using a winter-grade fluid that won’t freeze on your windshield.

Protect Your Exterior

Salt and road chemicals used for snow and ice removal can be harsh on your car’s exterior. Regularly wash your vehicle, including the undercarriage, to remove salt and prevent corrosion. Waxing your car can provide an additional layer of protection.

Keep Emergency Supplies

In case of a breakdown or emergency, it’s essential to have some supplies in your vehicle. Pack a winter emergency kit that includes items such as a blanket, flashlight, extra clothing, non-perishable snacks, and a first aid kit.

Check Your Lights

Days are shorter in winter, and visibility is often reduced. Ensure all your lights are working correctly, including headlights, brake lights, and turn signals. Clean foggy or dirty lenses to maximize visibility.

Drive Safely

Lastly, adjust your driving habits to the winter conditions. Drive at a safe speed, leave extra space between vehicles, and avoid sudden movements. If conditions are severe, consider staying off the roads unless absolutely necessary.

By following these winter vehicle care tips, you can help ensure your car stays reliable and safe throughout the cold months. Stay prepared, stay safe, and enjoy the winter season with peace of mind on the road.

Sablich Insurance Group is licensed in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
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