7 Ways To Prepare Your Car For Winter
Winter can be hell on your car. So in order to avoid a snowy breakdown during which you must eat your family to stay alive, follow these simple tips.
By Brooks Heintzelman
Winter can be murder on your car. So if you don’t want to walk uphill (both ways!) in knee-deep snow to get to where you’re going, you’d better make sure your car is prepared for winter. Along with having your battery, fluids, belts, hoses, lights, and brakes checked by someone who knows that a serpentine belt isn’t what holds up Thulsa Doom’s pants, there are things you’ll need to do to your car throughout the winter to stay safe and avoid potential big-ticket repairs.
1. CHECK YOUR BATTERY
Even if the mechanic gives your battery a thumbs up in a pre-winter check, you may want to think about a replacement. “The average battery lasts three to five years,” says Wave Dreher of AAA Colorado. So if you got your battery back when purchasing a house was an excellent investment, it may be time to get a new one.
2. BUY A BRUSH/SCRAPER COMBO
When it’s nut-shatteringly cold outside, it’s tempting to use a gloved hand to brush just enough snow and ice from the windshield to be able to see the road directly in front of you, and then get the hell in the car. Well, not only is that unsafe, but driving a snow-covered car is also illegal in some states. A brush/scraper combo should run you less than $20 and can be used to clear off the entire car — including the headlights, brake lights, and roof.
3. CHECK THE TIRE PRESSURE AND TREAD
As the temperature drops, so does the air pressure in your tires. Properly inflated tires supply better traction on slick roads, so it’s especially important in winter. The recommended tire pressure should be found on a tag posted in the driver-sider door jamb; if it’s not there, refer to the owner’s manual. Check your tread with a quarter by sticking it into a groove. If part of Washington’s head is showing, you’re good to go; if you see his entire head, it’s time to get new rubber. Quality tires typically last three to four years. And make sure you have all-weathers or snow tires so you don’t end up like these guys: