How to prepare your Car for Winter Road Conditions?

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How to prepare your Car for Winter Road Conditions?

Cars hate winters. Weather conditions in the Northern parts of the States are not car-friendly. Roads can be covered in snow or sleet and temperatures can dip below zero. Car owners too find the going tough and need to be extra careful about the vehicle maintenance and preparation for winter road conditions. It can be challenging for both car and driver.

prepare you car for winter
prepare you car for winter

Basic vehicle checks prior to onset of winter

It is best to take you car to an expert car repair garage to prepare it for winter. However, before you get it serviced and prepared for winter you can carry out a few preliminary tasks on your own. These cover:

  • Checking all lights to ensure they are working perfectly.
  • Check battery and battery fluid
  • Check condition of windscreen and the windscreen wiper blades. Check the washer bottle is full. Empty previous liquid and fill in fresh liquid with a rating designed for winter use. Keep a spare bottle handy inside the boot.
  • Check brakes. Make a note to have them checked and to replace shoes if so recommended by your friendly car repair station.
  • Check oil level and condition of oil. It is best to put in fresh oil for winter at your car repair center.
  • Check anti-freeze and radiator liquid. Let your car mechanic handle it.
  • Check treads of the tires. Check with a gauge to ensure it is at least 1/16th of an inch or more. If you will be doing a lot of driving around, then you should make a note to get winter tires installed at the car repair station.
  • Store a couple of blankets, tools, ice scraper, emergency kit, flash light, sand, shovel and some non-perishable food items as well as water inside the car’s boot.

At the car repair station


Car mechanics are well aware of the idiosyncrasy of winter and if you tell them that you need to have the car prepared for winter road conditions he will understand and will do all that is necessary to ensure you do not face problems while on the road.

  • Mechanics will usually check the engine oil and replace it with a variety suitable for winter use. It is worth the expense and it will keep the engine ticking over smoothly during winter. The filter will be changed along with the oil.
  • In near freezing temperatures or below the tire air pressure can drop dramatically. Your mechanic knows this and will inflate tires accordingly to make them fit for winter road conditions. Just make sure tires do not have too much pressure since they will lose traction.
  • If required get additional fog lights installed for winter driving. It is absolutely important that all lights are in perfect operating condition. Check brightness of headlights and signaling lights as well and replace lamps if necessary.
  • Your mechanic at car repair center will also check the battery and recommend installing a new one if its power is reduced.
  • Remind your mechanic to check or change transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, coolant and windscreen washing fluid.
  • Ask mechanic about tires. If he recommends winter tires, go with his suggestion. Winter tires are made of rubber that remains soft even at freezing temperatures and they have a better grip.

It may be a good idea to “bed” your car for the winter and avoid driving. In this case ensure a nice snug cover and a garage for your car. However, just in case you do have to take it out and drive, making sure it is ready to rock on icy roads gives you safety and peace of mind.


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