Product & Tools

How To Winterize Your Car

Dec 14, 2015

The last thing you need this winter is to be standing on the side of the road beside a broken-down vehicle.

The good news? You can winterize your vehicle without breaking the bank, with these six steps.

01. Maintain Your Windshield

If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your wiper blades, it’s way past time for a new set. See our article on How To Change Wiper Blades for step by step instructionsWe recommended changing them out every 6-12 months.

Be sure to refill your windshield washer fluid as well. Look for a cold-weather fluid that won’t freeze when temperatures drop...

02. Check Your Tires

If the tread on your tires is low, driving on slick roads can be treacherous. 

Quick tip: Insert a penny into your tire’s treads, with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it might be time to get a new set of tires.

And while you’re at it, check the tire pressure at least once a month. Dropping temperatures means a drop in air pressure, so make sure your tires (and your spare) are up to shape.

03. Check Your Battery

For your daily driver, have it load tested, especially if the battery is more than 4 or 5 years old. In general, cold temperatures can cut its power in half. Use a load tester or a multimeter with a mid-max function. Rule of thumb: if your battery voltage is less than 12.45 volts (75 percent charged), that's considered low and it needs a charge. 

04. Keep Your Gas Tank At Least Half Full

A mostly full gas tank at all times will keep your fuel lines from freezing. And let’s be honest, running out of gas is never a good thing, but it’s even worse when you’re stuck outside in the cold.

05. Pack An Emergency Kit

You never really know what’ll happen in a bad weather situation, so an emergency kit is always your safest bet. Make sure to include:

  • First Aid Kit
  • Flashlight
  • Jumper Cables
  • Tire Chains
  • Tool Kit
  • Blanket/Warm Clothes
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Cell Phone Charger
  • Snow Brush/Ice Scraper
  • Snow Shovel
  • Poncho
  • Sneakers (with good tread)
  • Duct Tape
  • Cat Litter (for traction if your tires are stuck)
  • Windshield Washer Fluid
  • Bottled Water/Nonperishable Food

06. When In Doubt, Take It In

We support your drive to tune-up and maintain your vehicle in your own garage. But it’s not a bad idea to get your car serviced before the winter weather hits.

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