Is Your Vehicle Ready for Winter?

Lori Johnson

Fall is upon us and that means that winter will be here before we know it. It's easy to get caught up in the day to day activities and forget about getting our vehicle ready for winter. What should I do before winter? Good question, here are a few maintenance items that may help you drive right through those winter doldrums without a care.
  1. Antifreeze/Coolant - check your maintenance schedule, this should be changed every 2 years or 30.000 miles for most vehicles. If you haven't done it in a while have it checked. Low fluid or a bad thermostat could mean no heat, and nobody wants that. Better to check it while the temperatures are still warm.
  2. Tires - While proper tire pressure is always important, tread thickness is essential in snowy weather. Don't hold off having those tires replaced if the tread is low. Tire Rack gives a great demonstration on how to measure this.
  3. Wiper Blades - Visibility is important, especially in the snow. Reaction times are critical and you need to see clearly so that you have plenty of time to avoid an accident. Wipers should be changed at least once a year. You may even want to look into getting winter blades that do a better job at pushing heavy snow off your windshield.
  4. Things in your trunk - While no one relishes having a flat tire or a breakdown, it's always best to be prepared. In the winter months that could mean carrying a blanket, extra gloves, boots, a bag of kitty litter for traction if you get stuck and a strong flashlight, just to name a few. It's always good to have a battery jump box with you as well.
  5. Lighting - The days are getting shorter and most of us drive to work and back in the dark. Take a walk around your vehicle and make sure that all of your lights are working. Too many times I've been behind vehicles without working brake lights, a real hazard in winter when stopping distance becomes critical.

Even if you are living in a warm climate, change in seasons is a good time to check out your vehicle. This means that at least you are looking at your vehicle a couple times a year, and that's a good thing. Catching problems before they become expensive repairs will also save you money. For more tips and advice, you can find us on Facebook at Have a safe winter season.

Lori Johnson
Light Maintenance Classes for Women