Ok, even though there are only a few places in California where it actually snows in the winter, regardless of your climate there are still things you should do for your winter car prep. Winter can be especially hard for your vehicle, and while modern cars are designed to handle inclement weather conditions, here are some basic steps every driver should take to keep their car in top condition during these winter months.
Winter Car Prep: What to Do
Winter is on the way and we want to make sure you are prepared for what to do when it arrives!
1.Inspect or replace your tires:
Maintaining your tires is key to ensuring your safety during the winter months. Here is our checklist. Worn tires are especially dangerous on wet or slick roads as both can reduce traction. Here are three quick tips for winter-ready tires:
- Maintain tire pressure: Low air pressure can be just as dangerous as well-worn tires. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended PSI, and if you’ve never checked your tire pressure on your own, make an appointment to stop by and our team will be happy to help!
- Inspect your brakes: Your brake maintenance should be part of your routine car care, and our team will ensure your brakes are in top condition.
- Do you need snow tires? If you live in an area with lots of snow, consider purchasing snow tires. They’re a valuable investment and can increase your traction and safety on icy roads.
2. Replace or refill all fluids:
Whether you bring your car to us for regular maintenance or are more of a do-it-yourself-at-home mechanic, checking your fluids is one of the best ways to check your winter car prep:
- Gas: Keeping your gas tank full is more important in winter than in summer because a full tank reduces condensation which can prevent gas line freeze ups. Plus, if you’re ever stranded, your engine may be the only thing to keep you warm until help arrives!
- Washer Fluids: This point is often overlooked but it is a key element for keeping you safe and your windshield clean and clear. We recommend using a freeze-resistant wiper fluid, as well as putting on new winter wiper blades. Along these same lines, double check that your rear window defroster is in working order.
- Coolant: In order to prevent your fluid from freezing in your radiator, it’s especially important to have the correct antifreeze/water mixture!
- Oil: If you live in an area where temperatures drop to below freezing, we often recommend switching to a thinner oil. However, it’s best to stop by and consult with one of our mechanics to ensure your car’s oil is properly winterized.
3. Pack a winter safety kit:
Before you head out on a trip to the snow, there are some common tools and supplies we recommend keeping in your car in case of emergency:
- First aid kit
- Flashlight & spare batteries
- Ice scraper
- Jumper cables
- Bag of sand (or kitty litter) and small shovel
- Extra antifreeze in a leak-free container
- Additional warm jacket, gloves, etc.
Our team is ready to help you with your winter car prep! Routine maintenance along with checking all the boxes on this list will ensure that your car is winter-ready. Contact us to schedule your appointment today!