I live in an area where the winters can get pretty cold.
And along with that cold weather can come snow, and ice, and all kinds of “fun” driving conditions!
If that’s true for you too, then there are some things you can do to prepare your vehicle for the cold weather ahead.
Here’s some tips on how you can winterize your vehicle, and get ready for that cold weather.
A good place to start is under the hood.
Take a look at your battery.
In cold weather, it’s a lot harder for your battery to start your car.
Your battery operates at a lower efficiency, has less amperage output,
and it’s just harder for it to turn over your engine.
There’s not a lot you can do with modern batteries,
but check the cables and make sure they’re tight.
so that they’re getting a good connection.
Tighten those down more if you need to.
And if you have any doubts about your battery, you can take it to an Auto Zone or an O’Reilly’s, or almost any auto parts store or garage,
and they’ll test your battery for free.
This will let you know if your battery is in good shape and ready for the winter.
While you’re under the hood, top off your windshield washer fluid.
You don’t want to be caught out in the snow, ice , and sleet while you’re driving,
and not be able to clear your windshield good because it’s freezing.
I recommend using a windshield washer fluid with some type of de-icer capability that’s more than normal.
This one is good down to a -25 degrees Fahrenheit.
And that will really cover my area of the country.
Also check your coolant antifreeze level.
Don’t take the cap off if it’s hot!
Only check this if the engine has cooled down.
Because there could be pressure under there.
If you hear a “hiss” when you start to take it off, STOP!
Let that get released.
And make sure that reservoir is filled up to where it should be.
There should be an indicator on the side or the front showing how full you need to fill it.
You want to make sure you have plenty of antifreeze in your engine during the cold winter weather.
And use the right type of antifreeze that your owner’s manual says to use.
Mine says to use a 50/50 mixture of Dex-Cool and clean water.
Purified water if you can get it, or just clean tap water.
And that’s all you need.
You may not have to use Dex-Cool, it may be something else.
But it’s always generally a 50/50 mixture.
You can buy straight antifreeze and mix it with water,
Or, you can but it pre-mixed in a 50/50 mixture of water and antifreeze.
While you’re under the hood, check your oil level while you’re at it.
And if you live in a really cold climate, you might want to double check the viscosity on your oil.
But if you’re not sure, check your owner’s manual, or check with your garage and see what they recommend when the temperatures really start to drop.
Also, while you’re at the front of the car,
check your headlight covers. Be sure they’re clean and clear.
If they’re at all cloudy or foggy, get a Lens Cleaning Kit and take care of that.
The more visibility you can have in rain, sleet, and snow, the better.
Next, go around and check your tires.
First off, I would check the tread depth.
One quick way of doing that is using the , “Penny Method”.
If you live in the US, and have a penny handy,
you can stick the penny in, with Lincoln’s head straight down into the tread,
and if you can see all of Lincoln’s head,
then you need new tires!
That means that there’s less than 2/32″ (less than 1/16″) of tread left.
And in most states in the US, if you have less than 2/32″ of tread left, that’s unsafe.
So we’re gonna check mine. I think my tires are pretty close!
So looking straight on at that tire,
there’s very little of Lincoln’s head that I can’t see.
So these tires are really close to needing to be replaced.
With a shallow tread depth, you’re not getting all the traction that you should be getting,
And you really need all the traction you can get on snow and ice!
If you’re in a really bad area of the country, you might consider getting snow tires.
Also check your tire pressure too.
Because for about every 10 degrees Fahrenheit that the temperature drops,
your tire pressure will go down about 1 pound per square inch – 1 PSI.
Check your owner’s manual and see what the recommended pressure is, and try to keep your tires at that pressure during the winter.
And while you’re checking tire pressure,
it’s a good idea to check your spare.
Make sure it’s properly aired up in case you would need it.
It’s also really important to check your windshield wiper blades.
Make sure the windshield wiper material is in good shape; it’s not torn,
or worn down excessively.
If yours look bad, get them replaced immediately before you have to drive in any of that snowy, icy weather.
And just to be safe, I keep a bag in the trunk
of emergency supplies, I guess you’d say!
Things I might need in case I break down along the road, or get stuck in some snow.
Here’s what’s in my bag right now.
I carry a small tire air compressor in case I need to air up my tires.
This one just cost $25, and it really works good.
This can really come in handy sometimes.
I always have my jumper cables.
These are pretty heavy duty, and they’re 20 feet long, so that helps in a lot of situations to have that extra length.
I have some LED Road Flares.
They flash red and can be seen from a long distance.
It’s also a good idea to have regular road flares that you strike.
I have some of those too.
The only reason I also have the other road flares, is because sometimes if you forget about the batteries in these, they may go bad.
And they won’t work when you really need them.
I also carry this ground base triangle.
It’s a really good reflective marker that makes you stand out along the roadway if you’re pulled over.
I carry an emergency light in case it’s night and I’m trying to fix a tire, or change a tire.
This one is also magnetic; it swivels.
It provides plenty of light along the road while you’re trying to do work on a tire or an engine.
You could also use the flashlight on your phone, but this one has a hook,
and you can maneuver it in different ways,
And keeps your hands free.
But, as anything with batteries, you should check the batteries ever once in a while, or carry spare batteries with you.
I also carry hand warmers in case I have to be outside doing work on the car in the cold.
I carry some lock de-icer.
I also keep some in the house too, because if you’re locked out and your door is froze,
that de-icer in the trunk isn’t gonna do you any good.
And be sure you always carry some good ice scrapers with you.
This one has a brush to reach across the windshield, which is nice.
And I also have this shorter, really sturdy one too.
One last thing I have is this collapsible shovel.
The handle extends out and makes it really useful in case you get stuck in the snow.
And this kind of stuff is good to keep in a bag or a box in your trunk at all times, especially during the winter.
Just in case!
So there you have it:
The basics of how to winterize your car, and be prepared for that nasty winter weather.
I think I’m ready.
Well, ready or not…it’s coming!
So, thanks for watching!
And please Like, Share, Comment, and Subscribe to my channel, if you would.