Fall is upon us, which means winter is right around the corner. For most of the U.S., that means it’s time to start prepping your car for the impending cold weather. Freezing temperatures and the influx of salt and snow on the roads can take a serious toll on your car. Here are five things you should do to make sure your car is ready to handle anything the winter season throws its way.
Replace Old Windshield Wiper Blades
Being able to see clearly through your windshield is always a priority when driving, but even more so when you add constant rain, hail, and snowfall into the mix.
When was the last time you replaced your windshield wiper blades? If it’s been more than a year, take your car into a mechanic for a quick wiper blade replacement. It’s relatively inexpensive as far as car parts go, and you’ll be grateful you did when the next blizzard hits.
Get Dirty Filters Replaced
Dirty air, fuel, and oil filters not only make your car less efficient and burn more gas, but they can also cause more serious issues if left in for too long. Replace any dirty filters before the cold weather hits to ensure you are getting the most bang for your buck at the gas pump and to avoid having to pay for any costly repairs as a result of dirty filters.
Get the Fluid Levels Checked
You’ll want to check the levels of all the fluids in your car and top off or refill any that look low or have been sitting for too long. Oil usually thickens as the temperature drops, so it’s more important than ever to stay on schedule with all necessary oil changes.
One fluid that may slip your mind is windshield washer fluid. You may not think you’ll be using it as often, but with all the snow and salt buildup on your car you’ll definitely need to use it regularly to keep your windshield clear.
Check Tire Pressure, Alignment, and Overall Wear
One of the most important things to do to prep your car for colder weather is to check on that state of your car’s tires. Tire pressure also tends to drop with the temperature, so it’s important to keep an eye out for any tire that looks low once the winter season starts.
You also need to check on the overall wear of your tires, since traction is most important come winter. Check for any cuts, nicks, uneven wearing, or worn down treads and replace or patch tires as needed.
Pack an Emergency Bag and Keep It in Your Car
Be prepared for anything by keeping an emergency bag in your car. The following items should be included:
- small shovel
- flashlight and batteries
- tire chains
- extra gloves
By keeping these items in your car, you’ll be ready to handle any worst case scenario winter creates, or even be able to help a fellow driver in need.
Winter is definitely coming, but by taking these five preventative steps you can make sure your car is prepped and ready for the cold weather.