Daily Traffic Alerts

Don’t Get Stuck in the Snow: Winter Checklist for Your Car

Two women attempt to get a car unstuck from a snowbank

When harsh winter weather arrives, the last thing you need is for your car to be unprepared. Whether it’s remembering to properly outfit your vehicle for snow and freezing temperatures or putting the right wipers and tires on your ride, here’s what you need to remember to do to winterize your car.

Antifreeze Is Your Best Bet

If you live in an area where the temperatures get down below freezing, you’re going to want to make sure you’ve got antifreeze as your engine coolant. This is because water has a tendency to expand when it’s frozen, which can do all kinds of damage in your engine. Antifreeze, on the other hand, tends to have  a freezing temperature in the negatives.

Wiper Fluid Top-Off

Your wiper fluid is also important to keep in mind this time of year. That’s because it, too, needs to be freeze-resistant. When salt, snow, and ice are on your windshield, you want to be able to successfully clean them off, and you can’t do that if the wiper fluid in your car is frozen solid.

Check those wiper blades, while you’re at it. Wiper blades wear out after eight months or so, so you’ll want to make sure yours are in tip-top shape. Clearing winter precipitation is no easy task, so you’ll need good wiper blades that are up to the job.

Check Your Tires

Make sure your tires have the right amount of pressure in all four wheels and check the treads. If your tires are worn bald from the road, it’s time to replace them. Worn tire tread is a serious hazard in winter conditions, which are already dangerous and slick. There’s no reason to make winter driving harder on yourself than it already is.

Get Your Oil Changed

Cold weather causes oil to thicken, slowing its progress through your engine and making your car’s performance suffer. Newer oil tends to be more resistant to this, though some experts recommend even using a thinner oil or a synthetic to combat the weather. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to see if this approach will work with your vehicle.

DJ Swanson

D.J. Swanson never planned to be a writer. His first job was working in his family’s autobody shop, but after studying English and journalism in college, he decided not to join the family business.

Instead, D.J. realized that he could make a difference by helping people learn how to maintain their cars and drive safely in challenging conditions. He is proud to share his lifelong knowledge of cars and driving here at Daily Traffic Alerts.

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