How to Prepare Your Car for Winter
The weather is turning colder and meteorological winter is here, which means “real” winter isn't far behind. To me, one of the worst things is car trouble and car trouble compounded with cold weather? No, thanks. Here are a few ways to prepare your car for the cold weather.
Check Your Battery
Car batteries, like we humans like warmer weather, so when it turns cold, they don't always like to start. Kind of like me trying to get out of bed at 4:30am. The average battery lasts three to five years, so have your mechanic test it out at your next oil change. If it's borderline, get a new one. It's better to invest the money in a new car battery than hand over money to a tow truck driver then buy a new battery.
Check Your Tire Pressure
When it gets cold and the temperature drops, so does your tire pressure. Low tire pressure can decrease gas mileage and traction. When you're checking the tire pressure, it's also a good idea to check the tread and make sure your tires don't need to be replaced.
Check Your Wiper Blades
Mucky muddy water is hard to see through. It's even harder to see through when it's smeared all over your windshield. It they're more than a year old, or don't clear your windshield within three wipes, it's time to get them replaced. You can usually buy new ones and have them installed for $20 to $30.
Assemble an Emergency Car Kit
It's important to have one all the time, but it's super important in the winter. Most people have a cell phone these days and that certainly helps, but during winter storms, it can be a little while sometimes before help can arrive. Have a blanket, flashlight, batteries, non-perishable food items, matches, a first aid kit and extra warm clothing. It's also a good idea to have a small shovel to clear away snow from your exhaust pipe and a brightly colored piece of fabric to tie on your antenna so your car is more easily visible in the snow.