Winter is around the corner, and for those living in colder climates, now is the time to prep your car. Freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on a car’s performance and potentially leave you stranded. Back in 2014, thousands of unprepared drivers were stranded on the highway in Atlanta, GA after the arrival of an anomaly snow storm. Before the storms arrive, here are tips to get your car ready for wintertime and help keep you safe. Keep these tips for winterizing your car in mind even if you don’t typically live in a snowy area. You never know when you might find yourself stuck in your car.
12 Ways to Start Winterizing Your Car
Pack a Winter Safety Kit
Gather items to keep in your car at all times in case you are stranded in your car and must wait for help to arrive.
- First aid kit
- Non-perishable food and drink
- Heat packs
- Jumper cables
- Extra winter clothing
- Cat litter (you can put this under your tires for traction if you get stuck)
Keep Proper Tire Pressure
Temperature changes affect the PSI of your tires and can change how you car handles. Be sure to frequently check your tire pressure and keep them at the proper PSI.
Get Winter Wipers
Swap your wipers with heavy duty winter wipers that help prevent ice accumulation along the blades.
Use Different Engine Oil
A thinner oil in freezing temperatures will help your car run better in the chilly winter months. Ask at your next oil change which oil they recommend for your car or check your manual.
Check Your Car Battery
Cold weather can be hard on your car battery. If it your battery is already in bad shape, it may stop working if it experiences below freezing temperatures. Make sure your car battery is in good shape before you start venturing out into the cold.
Get Well Equipped Tires
You can either get snow tires or all season tires. It is crucial that you have the proper tires when driving on icy, snowy roads for good traction and control.
Buy Lock Spray
When temperatures drop below freezing, it can be difficult to manually unlock your car doors or house. I have personally broken off two keys in the lock while trying to unlock doors in the winter. A can of lock spray can be purchased at your local store and sprayed into locks when they freeze.
Check Your 4 Wheel Drive
Test our your 4 wheel drive to make sure it still works before you try to take on a snowbank. Also remember that 4 wheel drive does NOT mean you can drive through anything, but it will help if you get stuck.
Inspect Belts and Hoses
Check under the hood and have regular maintenance done on your car to have anything repaired or replaced before winter arrives.
Keep Wiper Fluid in Your Car
Always keep wiper fluid in your car in case you run out. Frequently cleaning the slush and muck from your windshield might deplete your supply sooner than you think. Always have extra on hand.
Don’t Let Fuel Levels Get Low
When your tank gets low, it may allow for condensation to form in the tank. If water drips into the gas and settles in the bottom it may freeze and block fuel lines rendering you unable to start the car. Try to always keep a half tank in the winter.
Make sure you have enough antifreeze and always keep some extra in the trunk with the rest of necessary items.
If You’re in the Market for a New Car…
Check out the many Kia models that have versatile features from family driving to all terrain capability. You can see reviews here for affordable options when it comes time to buy a new car.
I am a #KiaMom who drives a #KiaSorento thanks to Kia. Opinions still remain my own.