Tips to Winterize Your Vehicle

By: Jordan Shefte Email
By: Jordan Shefte Email

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Take one step outside and it's clear, winter is on the way.

While you may be ready with your coats and gloves in gear, have you paid the same attention to your car?

Failing to prepare your car for the cold can have not only costly, but also dangerous consequences. With that in mind, here are some preventative measures now to prevent headaches later.

Unusually warm temps have become a trend this fall but as we've seen the past couple days, that's all about to change.

"When we see mild weather, things slow down somewhat," said Owner of All-American Automotive Greg Norris. "But once the cold hits, the cars start breaking down, we see a lot more business."

To make sure your car is not one of those breaking down, it's important to winterize.

Norris says that battery problems are one of the biggest cold weather issues.

"You see a lot of people that are having to pay for a tow service, the inconvenience of the car not starting," Norris said. "They need to have their batteries tested, so that's probably number one."

But making sure your battery is good to go is not the only precaution you need to take.

Tires are also an important area to focus on.

"As the temperature drops, you get about one pound of pressure drop with every ten degrees, so checking your tire pressure is very crucial, it's easy to do," Norris said.

While you're down there, take a look at the tire tread.

"Make sure they're not thin, getting bald, causing slips," Norris said.

You need to have your anti-freeze checked to make sure it can withstand the cooler temps.

"If the antifreeze does not get tested properly and it's not tested to below zero, when we get cold, the engine can freeze, the water in there can freeze, and it will damage the block," Norris said.

And there's nothing worse than driving through melting snow, only to discover you're in need of new windshield wipers.

"Wiper blades, make sure they're cleaning the windshields correctly, not streaking, any of them torn. It is a safety issue," Norris said.

It's all part of the preparation for the war against winter.

It's not just mechanical preparations that are needed, there are some things you can do yourself without stepping foot inside a auto-body shop.

Make sure you have a scraper and some de-icer on hand.

Also, it's not a bad idea to carry a shovel and some sand with you just in-case you get stuck.

Keep your spare tire full, and have a first-aid and tool kit accessible.

One final note, keep your gas tank full to prevent gas lines from freezing.

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