Have you been too busy to get your
car ready for the winter? Or perhaps you didn't know that special
preparations were required? Either way, this article is for
you. Here are some easy steps to "winterizing" your vehicle
and saving money by performing some of these tasks yourself.
For those of you in the Sunbelt
where snow and ice are not an issue, here are some tips on how
to keep your car in good shape in a warmer
Your Car for Winter
the cold weather strikes, here are some helpful
tips to get your car in gear and ready to go.
- Get engine problems such as
stalling corrected at a good
repair shop. Cold weather tends to make existing
problems like stalling worse.
sure your heater and defroster are in good working order.
- Put a bottle of de-icer in your
gas tank once a month to keep moisture from freezing in the
fuel line. Keeping your tank full also helps keep this moisture
- If your
climate is harsh, consider purchasing rubber-clad winter windshield
wiper blades to fight ice build up.
up on windshield
washer fluid. When snow and ice melt, the dirty
water splashes onto your windshield. So, you may need more
washer fluid than usual to keep your windshield clean.
- If you
get stuck in the snow, worn
tires will be of little use. Inspect your tires
for problems like bulges and uneven wear. If your tires are
wearing unevenly, they may need to be rotated or balanced.
your tire pressure once a month. Consult your owners manual
to see what tire pressure is recommended. This is usually
expressed in pounds per square inch (psi). Then, purchase
an inexpensive gauge to see if your tires are under or overinflated.
an Emergency Kit
Be prepared for unexpected snow
and ice with an emergency
kit. You should also make sure you have a way to
keep warm in your car, in case your car breaks down, or the
weather is too bad to drive in.
Your kit should include:
- An ice scraper
- A snow shovel
- Sand or kitty litter (for traction
in case you get stuck)
- Tire chains
- A flashlight
- A spare tire
- A jack
Spare bulbs and fuses, especially for your emergency
- A cellular
- Water and high energy snacks,
such as granola bars
Tasks You Can Perform
We promised you at the beginning
that you could save money by performing some of these tasks
yourself. To recap, here are the tasks you can perform:
- Put de-icer in your gas tank
- Purchase and install winter
- Inspect your tires
- Check your tire pressure
- Keep your windshield washer
The following tasks, however, are
probably best left to a professional.
- Fixing engine problems, such
- Making sure your heater and
defroster are in good working order
- Rotating and balancing your
This is just a brief overview.
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