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10 Maintenance Must-Dos for Winter-Proofing Your Car During Cold Season

Proper winter maintenance is absolutely essential for any petrolhead, ensuring their and their passengers' safety while driving in the harsh winter months. Cold weather can cause various troubles for any vehicle, ranging from frozen doors and unusable locks to dead batteries and unpredictable driving manners during slippery road conditions.
Ford F-150 Lightning 26 photos
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Sound upkeep practices utilizing your vehicle will help prevent many of these issues and keep you safe on the journey ahead, ensuring you reach your destination without any hiccups. Additionally, your winter maintenance habits can dictate the long-term reliability of your beloved machine.

Taking care of your car ensures it will be running at its best, which, in turn, reduces the risk of breakdowns and costly repairs, especially when the severe weather overpowers everything. Needless to say, it can also save you money in the long run.

So, here are the ten crucial vehicle maintenance tips for the winter season.
Don't Skimp on the Antifreeze
Vehicle Expansion Tank
Confirming that your antifreeze is topped off and properly mixed is essential. As its name suggests, this remarkable chemical compound helps to prevent your engine from freezing up in extremely negative temperatures and also aids in regulating the engine temperature.

Make sure to use a high-quality antifreeze compatible with your vehicle's make and model. If you're unsure about what type you need, consult your owner's manual or ask a trustworthy mechanic.

Neglecting to use the proper antifreeze can lead to severe engine damage, so getting it right from the get-go is worth the extra effort.
Winterize Your Tires
Bentley Continental GT on Winter Tires
Winter tires perform their very best in chilly temperatures and offer much-improved traction when tackling snow or ice. Furthermore, even if your car is equipped with the appropriate rubber, be sure to check the tread depth and pressure before setting off in your vehicle.

Tire pressure tends to drop in the cold, so check it regularly and inflate it as needed. Proper tire inflation is essential for fuel efficiency, on-road handling, and occupants' safety during challenging circumstances.

If your tread is getting low, consider replacing your tires before the winter season gets going. This approach should be paramount if you live in a heavy snowfall-prone area.
Keep Your Battery Juiced Up
Car battery and jumper cables

Freezing temperatures can put a hefty strain on your battery, so keeping it charged at all times is noteworthy. Make sure to turn off any unnecessary electrical devices when the engine is off to help conserve battery power.

Furthermore, if your battery is more than three years old, it may be time to replace it. A weak or failing battery can be problematic to start in frigid weather and can leave you stranded.

Not least, consider installing a battery blanket to help keep your battery warmer and extend its stamina.
Oil, the Lifeblood of Your Engine
New engine plant, Zuffenhausen, 2016

Regular oil changes are vital year-round, but they are especially crucial during the winter days. Cold temperatures cause the oil compounds to thicken, making it more difficult to lubricate and protect your engine's internals.

Use the high-quality oil you can get your hands on, which suits your particular vehicle and the climate in your region. If you have to, check your owner's manual for the recommended type and frequency of oil changes.

Neglecting this step can lead to severe engine impairment and will get pricey in no time.
Keep an Eye on the Snow Storm... and Another on Your Wiper Blades!
Mercedes\-Benz genuine windscreen wipers

Wiper blades can become brittle and even crack under severe frostiness, leading to poor visibility in snowy and icy conditions.

Be sure to replace your wiper blades before the winter season to ensure clear visibility on the road. It's a good idea to replace your wiper blades every six to twelve months, or at the moment they start to streak or make weird noises.

Don't wait until you have poor visibility or struggle to discern anything outside your vehicle. Try to take a proactive approach regarding this matter and replace them beforehand.
Keep Your Car's Tummy Full
Car at gas station in winter

Keeping your gas tank at least half full during the winter is always suitable.

Not only will this help prevent your fuel line system from freezing, but it will also give you a much better chance of getting home safely in the unfortunate event you find yourself stranded.

Running empty in cold weather can be dangerous and even life-threatening, as it can lead to hypothermia and frostbite if you're stuck without any heat source for an extended period.
Your Fireplace on Wheels
Car interior vents

Take the time to make sure your heater and defroster are in excellent working order before the winter season. A fully functioning heater and defroster are essential for keeping your windows clear and your vehicle warm, no matter the outside conditions.

If your heater is not working correctly, it can be a sign of more serious trouble, such as a faulty thermostat or even a malfunctioning radiator. It's best practice to address these issues before the winter season makes an appearance to avoid being stuck in a chilly car.

Similarly, a faulty defroster can make it difficult to see out of your windows, which can be dangerous in snowy and icy circumstances. If you're having trouble with your heater or defroster, it's best to have it checked out by a mechanic ASAP.
Your Survival Kit Inside The Vehicle
Winter gear

Do everything you can to keep a readily available winter emergency kit in your vehicle. This can include essential items like blankets, a good lighter and matches, a functioning flashlight, ideally with a magnetic surface so you can easily attach it on any car surface if the need arises, a first aid kit, and some non-perishable snacks.

If you get stranded in a severe blizzard, these supplies can keep you warm and comfortable until help arrives.

Moreover, you should also keep a bag of sand or even kitty litter in your trunk, as it could prove immensely helpful if you ever find yourself stuck in heavy snow.
Get a Tune-Up
Service mechatronic, Porsche Training and Recruitment Center South Africa, 2016
A complete check-up from a trustworthy mechanic can help ensure your vehicle runs at its best before the winter season. It could include replacing spark plugs, checking the ignition system, and checking the brakes.

A preventive garage visit can help improve the performance and efficiency of your vehicle, as well as help identify any potential issues that may need to be addressed.

Be smart and get a tune-up before the winter season starts to ensure that your vehicle is in tip-top condition and ready to conquer the challenges of the cold climate.
Even the Most Prepared Can Be Caught Off Guard
Cars stuck in snow on I\-95 in Virginia
No matter how well-maintained your vehicle is, it would be best to always prepare for the worst. This means having a plan in place in case you get stuck in the middle of nowhere during a massive snowstorm.

Carry around a spare cell phone charger, let someone know your route, and keep a small supply of essentials in your car.

Don't be afraid to stow a set of jumper cables in your trunk, as cold weather can sometimes cause batteries to fail suddenly. Being organized can help you stay safe and comfortable if the unexpected happens.
Bonus Survival Tip: Keep Some Hot Cocoa on Hand!
Man Drinking Coffee

It's not just your car that needs to be prepared for winter. You do too! Make sure to keep some hot cocoa mix or other beverages in your vehicle to help keep you warm and toasty if you get stranded.

And don't forget to pack some snacks, like cookies or trail mix, to hold you over until help arrives. Just make sure to avoid making a mess in your car while you're at it.

By following these simple vehicle maintenance tips, you can help ensure that your car or truck is ready to handle the challenges of the winter season.

Proper maintenance can help prevent unwanted issues and give you peace of mind knowing that you are doing everything in your power to protect yourself and your passengers on the road.

Do not let the snowy season catch you off guard. Happy winter driving!

 
 
 
 
 

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