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How Do I Winterize My Vehicle?

Posted: 11/19/2021


If you live in a climate that gets cold in the winter months, then you already know how important it is to get you and your house ready for the harsh conditions of a North American winter.


Cold, snowy weather is on its way, and winterizing your car means taking the necessary steps to protect it. It's important to take care of your vehicle before winter hits by following these tips below.


Do You Need Snow Tires?


Do winter tires really make a difference? Many people question the need for winter tires, while some swear by them. The reality is that winter tires do offer a better grip on snow and ice than all-season or summer tires. They are specifically designed to handle low temperatures and winter road conditions such as slush, snow, sleet, etc.


Due to their different rubber compound, they also have shorter stopping distances when braking in wintry conditions compared with standard all-season or summer tires. And because winter tire treads leave more open space between each block of tread there's less chance of hydroplaning during heavy rainstorms too.


Make an Emergency Roadside Kit


Building an emergency roadside kit is a winterizing must. In winter, emergencies can happen at any time and you don't want to be caught unprepared for anything that comes your way while driving in winter weather conditions. Some of the most important items to include are:


- Flashlight


- Blanket


- Flares or reflective triangle (for helping other drivers see your car)


- Extra Batteries and phone chargers


- Jumper cables or portable jump starter


- Tire pressure gauge and portable tire inflator


- First aid kit


- Non-perishable food and bottled water


Check Your Vehicle's Filters Before Winter


Before winter arrives, it's important to check your vehicle's air and fuel filters. Doing so will allow you to replace it if necessary before winter hits and could prevent any problems that arise from driving in winter with dirty or clogged-up filters. While you can do this yourself with the proper tools and experience, it's a task you might want to trust to a professional technician.


Check Your Vehicle for Leaks


It may be time to have the hoses checked on your vehicle if winter is coming. If they are leaking, there's no time like the present to replace them or get repairs done on them before winter hits and temperatures drop even more.


Check Your Vehicle for Fluids Before Winter Sets In


Make sure you check your car fluids before winter arrives too. This includes things such as windshield washer fluid (top it off if needed), antifreeze, engine oil, and brake fluid.


Should You Check Your Car Battery Before Winter?


As one of the most important components of your vehicle, you definitely need to make sure your battery is ready to go. If there are any problems with the battery itself, now is the time to replace it so that you don't get stuck somewhere trying to jumpstart your vehicle during winter weather conditions.

While you're checking the charge, you should also check these things, too (or have a technician do it for you):


Check the Cables


It is important to properly maintain the components around your battery before the onset of winter. Make sure the cables, posts, and latches are in good condition, and check the battery connections to make sure they are clean and tight. Use a stiff wire brush to clean  any corrosion and secure the battery to the battery tray.


Check Your Battery Tray


While you’re at it, your winterizing checklist wouldn't be complete without checking your vehicle's battery tray. If there are any signs of rust, corrosion, or damage to the tray itself now is the time to replace it before winter hits and temperatures drop even further which could lead to problems with winter starting your car.


Preparing Your Car's Interior for Winter


Now's a good a time as any to clean your car out of all the garbage and debris that might have built up over the previous spring and summer months.


- Car Seat Covers (remove them and store somewhere dry to prevent damage or mildew from winter weather conditions)


- Floor Mats/Rugs, etc. Floor-liners are all-season and provide the ultimate protection against snow, sleet, salt, mud and other wintry messes. They are custom-fit to your vehicle and keep messes away from the floor and save you time when cleaning. They’re easy to install and available at your local Arnold Motor Supply.


Check the Pressure on All of Your Tires


It's winter and you're about to get in your car. But wait! Did you check all of your tires lately? If it has been a while, now is the time before winter sets in so that they are at their recommended air pressure levels before winter weather conditions arrive. Check them all, including the spare tire.


Don't Forget About Your Windshield Washer Fluid


If winterizing your car has made it to your winterizing checklist, don't forget about winter windshield washer fluid. If you live in an area where temperatures drop below freezing during winter months, use this special kind of fluid that will be able to effectively cut through winter road salt and grime.


The Perfect Holiday Gift: an Arnold Motor Supply Gift Card


Winter brings lots of stuff we’d rather not deal with, like snow and sleet and cold, but it also brings things we’re happy to have, like the holidays! If you’re celebrating, you might want to consider giving an Arnold Motor Supply Gift Card – it’s the perfect gift to help your loved one make sure they’re getting the best prices for their own winterizing needs. Get yours at your local Arnold Motor Supply today.



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