Keep Coolant Levels Full
Coolant can keep the fluid that is inside your radiator from freezing when outdoor temperatures drop. Coolant should always be filled to the maximum line so that there will be a sufficient amount in your vehicle. You can also purchase a coolant testing device at an auto parts store that will help you determine exactly how much coolant is in your vehicle.
Have Your Battery Tested
Cold weather can quickly diminish your battery’s power, and your vehicle will require even more power from your battery to start during the winter. It is advisable to take your vehicle to an auto shop and have a mechanic test your battery to make sure that it has enough power to make it through the winter.
Snow Tires or Chains May Be Necessary
If you live in an area that experiences heavy snowfall or you plan to drive over any mountain passes during the winter, you should think about getting some snow tires. These types of tires consist of softer rubber and are able to retain more traction in slippery driving conditions. Snow chains can also give your vehicle additional traction and are generally easy to put on over your tires.
Oil May Need to Be Changed
This may be especially true if you live in an area where freezing temperatures are the norm throughout the winter. Oil with thinner viscosity usually does better in cold weather, but you should make sure that the oil isn’t too thin so that your vehicle can still run sufficiently. Your mechanic can advise you on the type of oil that will work best for your specific vehicle.
Make Sure Wipers Are Up to Standard
Windshield wiper blades that are old and worn won’t be able to clear your windshield sufficiently enough when snow, sleet and heavy rains fall while you drive. It is generally advisable to replace your wiper blades once a year. You should also make sure that your wiper fluid is full so that you will be able to clean off any film that might form on your windshield from the weather.
Check the Belts and Hoses
Hoses and belts can become weak to the point of snapping in cold temperatures, so you should make sure that yours are durable enough to withstand the season. Belts and hoses are always checked by a mechanic when getting a vehicle tune-up, but you should consider making a special appointment with your auto shop for an inspection.
Winterizing your vehicle can save you a lot of grief and headache and may even help you avoid accidents and costly repairs. If you prepare your vehicle for winter the right way, you have a better chance of making it through the season with little hassle.