Your Pre-Winter Car Checklist

Right now, the weather is still fairly nice – that perfect autumn feeling – but soon the temperature will drop and the snow will start to fly. Like the old saying goes “make hay while the sun shines.” Or in this case, winterize your car before it starts feeling colder than a metal seat in Siberia. You know you have to prepare your vehicle for a long winter but where do you start? Here are a few items you should have on your checklist to get your car ready for the coldest season of the year.

Check your car’s battery

Unfortunately, when the temperature drops battery power goes with it. An old battery won’t only hurt your car’s starting performance it can die leaving you stranded. Not ideal when it’s 20 degrees outside and there’s a foot of snow on the ground. If you need a new battery this is the time to get one.

Check your car’s tires and switch to winter tires if necessary

Check your treads and air pressure. If your treads are worn and cracked purchase new tires. You want optimum tire performance when navigating the tricky driving conditions winter presents. If you live in a particularly snowy area, consider switching to winter tires for the season. Snow tires are designed to handle the worst winter throws at you.

Check your vehicle’s brakes

Driving can be challenging enough during winter but if your brakes are subpar that only makes for a more difficult and dangerous situation. If you have experience you can check your brakes yourself but having a seasoned professional perform the inspection is the best choice. Regardless, ensure your brakes are ready for winter weather.

Check windshield wipers and wiper fluid

You want clear windshields when you are traveling during tough winter conditions and if your wipers are on their last legs this won’t be possible. Don’t even chance somewhat worn windshield wipers when preparing for winter. You’ll thank yourself when the snow is falling and the ice is accumulating. Additionally, while you are checking your wipers fill your wiper fluid. You’ll have to do this frequently throughout the season if there are multiple snow events. Storms tend to deplete fluid.

Finally, prepare emergency supplies

Being prepared in case the worst-case scenario happens is vital. Collect items like blankets, jumper cables, first aid kid, phone chargers, road flares and even non-perishable food. Also consider a small shovel to help dig your car out of deep snow. You most likely will never have to use most of these items but having them ready can save your life.

One thing is certain, you can’t stop the weather from being cold, but you can prepare your car for this chilly time of year. Take the time now to prepare so when old man winter arrives you won’t be surprised.