Winter Car Care: Get Your Car Ready For The Cold Weather


Swap out regular tires for winter tires. If you live in an area where temperatures fall below 45°F, winter tires are recommended. These tires are more capable of staying flexible at low temperatures. They’re made to give you better traction while stopping or turning on cold pavement. A good tip to prevent swerving or drifting when making a turn is to have heavy sand bags in your trunk that add more weight to the back of your car.

In addition to swapping out your tires, it’s important to keep track of your tire pressure as temperatures get colder. This is because tire pressure can drop along with the air temperature, losing up to one pound per square inch with every 10-degree drop in air temperature.



If you park outside, leave the wipers in the raised position to prevent them from freezing to the windshield. Clearing your windows will make you less of a hazard on the road. Use an ice scraper to remove ice, snow or frost from the windshield. You may have to replace wiper blades. According to Consumer Reports, even the best-performing wiper blades start to lose their effectiveness in as little as six months. If there are streaks or missed expanses of glass, then you should replace the blades.

Another thing to keep in mind is defroster. To keep your windows clean of dirt and salt residue, keep your windshield-washer reservoir filled with a winter-blend washed solution containing an antifreeze agent.



Winter is the most important time of year to check your oil. Motor oil thickens when cold, making it harder for the engine to turn over. Generally, you should be using multi-viscosity oil formulated for winter. However, check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation.Whenever you have the oil changed, replace the oil filter as well to ensure the maximum amount of flow in the system.    

Before winter gets into full swing, be sure to check your car’s window defroster and climate control system are still working properly. This system helps keep you warm in the winter, while the defroster keeps your windows from icing up. As for the body of the car, the best defense against salt and dirt residue is a coat of polymer wax coupled with a high-pressure car wash after a storm to rinse away buildup in hard-to-reach areas such as wheel wells and underbody. Paying attention to these parts of your car will help you prepare for the season ahead.