Winter (and maybe snow) is just around the corner.  Don’t wait until it’s too late to get your car ready for the cold months ahead.  The last thing you want when it’s 30 degrees outside is a dead battery or bald tires.  Here are 10 simple ways to get your car ready for the winter so you can drive worry free.

  1. Check you windshield wiper blades.  There’s nothing worse than being caught in the rain or snow and finding out your wiper blades don’t do much more than smear dirt and water all over your windshield.  Windshield wipers are usually good for about a year.  If you can’t even remember the last time you changed them it’s probably time for a new pair.  Also, this is not the time of year to fill you washer fluid reservoir with water, it will just freeze, use actual windshield washer fluid.
  2. Switch to snow tires.  Have you ever waited until it started snowing to go get your tires changed over?  I have.  Take my word on this, do it early.  Maybe it will snow this year, maybe it won’t but, even if we only get a little, we always get ice.  Your tires are the only thing between you and the pavement, don’t skimp on them.
  3. Do you have 4 wheel drive?  Make sure it’s working properly.  Make sure it engages and disengages.
  4. Check your battery and it’s connections.  If you have had the battery for longer than 3 years, take it in to your local repair shop and have them test it.  Crisis averted, you’re welcome.
  5. Check antifreeze fluid.  You should also do regular radiator flushes as advised in your owners manual.
  6. Check your defroster and heater.  If you have kiddos you definitely don’t want to drive them around in freezing temperatures.  If there are any issues better to fix them early and beat the rush of those who weren’t as prepared as you 😉
  7. Get your car detailed.  While this isn’t required, having your cars exterior detailed will give it a protective clear coating which will protect the paint from salt and sand/gravel damage.  Spending a little before winter could save you a bundle if you have to re-paint or fix rock chips later.
  8. Keep glycerine (available at your local auto parts store) in your purse or at work just in case your door handles freeze and you can’t open your car door.  I’ve had this happen when there was freezing rain and snow all day.  Better to be prepared (not to mention your co-workers will think your 10 different kinds of awesome when you save the day with your handy dandy bottle of glycerin).
  9. Keep your gas tank full.  While running out of gas is good enough reason to keep it full, that’s not the only reason.  During winter months condensation can form on the inside walls of the gas tank and drip into you gas.  Water in your gas lines can freeze, lets just say that’s bad. Keep your gas tank at least half full and avoid this issue altogether.
  10. Put together an emergency kit.  Things like water, snacks, extra coat and gloves, salt (for the road) flashlight, battery, flares etc just in case you get stuck somewhere.  If you already have one, look over it and make sure you have everything you need.

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