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Beat the Weather Woes (How to Winterize Your Car for Colder Climates)

Don't let the winter weather impact one of your most important assets--your car. Check out this guide on how to winterize your car and stay prepared.

AAMCO Lee's Summit  | 01/13/2020  | Seasonal Vehicle Maint

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Beat the Weather Woes (How to Winterize Your Car for Colder Climates)

The weather outside is getting frightful. In fact, 17% of car crashes happen in winter conditions! But that doesn't mean you have to huddle up inside your home.

If you're one to always be out and about, then there are some things you can do to winterize your car. That way, you'll be safe and sound while getting around town.

Don't know where to start? Don't worry. In this article, we'll help you beat the weather woes and show you how to winterize your car for colder climates.

Change Your Wiper Blades

Whether it rains or snows in the wintertime where you live, you'll need to make sure you have working wiper blades before the heavy weather hits.

Wiper blades don't cost much, and they're easy to change yourself. Purchase a new set and replace your old ones so you have working blades for the snow or rain.

If the weather gets especially bad in your area, you might want to consider buying wiper blades that are made for winter conditions. That way, you'll be prepared and will have great visibility, no matter how bad it gets.

Top up Your Wiper Fluid

Next up on the list is topping up your windshield wiper fluid. Having new wiper blades is great, but that won't mean anything if there's no wiper fluid to help them do their job.

This is another easy job, as all you have to do is buy wiper fluid and fill up the reservoir.

If it snows or gets below freezing temperatures where you live, you should pick up some wiper fluid that has a lower freezing temperature (it'll specify that it has antifreeze in it). That way, you'll make sure the wiper fluid comes out when you need it.

Check Your Car Battery

Winter weather can get particularly harsh, and you don't want to be stuck outside in it due to a non-working or dead battery.

First of all, the extreme cold can affect how well your battery works. In the cold, your lead-acid car battery can drop in efficiency anywhere from 20-50%!

So take the time to pop your hood and examine the battery. Make sure it's clean; in particular, you need to check the connections to ensure that they're secure and not corroded. You might also need to top off the battery cells with distilled water if they're low.

Also, consider when you bought the car battery. If it's been a while, you'll want to get the capacity tested. You may end up needing to replace it to properly winterize your vehicle.

Change Your Engine Oil

It might have been quite a while since the last time you changed your engine oil. Older oil won't work as well in the winter, since not only do the low temps change the composition, but there are also contaminants at play.

Before the cold weather hits, make sure you change your engine oil. Check the owner's manual to see if you need to switch to an oil with different viscosity for the winter.

Check Your Tires

When there's lots of rain and snow, there's less traction for your tires. This is why so many accidents happen; people misjudge the conditions and drive as normal, when in fact, they need to account for more time and distance when making a complete stop.

The first thing you need to do is to check the air pressure in each tire. Look in your car manual to find out what the proper pressure is.

The next thing you need to look at is your treads. These are what helps your tires grip the road, and if they're too worn down, you'll slip and slide all over the pavement. You may need to bring in your car for replacements.

Switch to Winter Tires

This may be necessary if you get really bad snow in your area. Snow and all-season tires give your vehicle a better grip on the road since they have increased traction over regular tires.

These are so important that by law, some areas require you to have these on your cars. Make sure you double-check the laws in your city so you're not breaking any of them by not switching to winter tires.

Have an Emergency Kit Available

You can take all the right steps to winterize your car, but the fact is, emergencies still may happen despite all your preparations. In the event of a disaster, you want to make sure you and your passengers stay nice and safe while you're waiting for help to arrive.

Key things you should pack in your emergency kit include matches, flares, an ice scraper, flashlight (and spare batteries), first aid kit, car tool kit, jumper cables, warm clothes, non-perishable food, bottles of water, and a bottle of antifreeze.

Have a Professional Take a Look

If you don't feel comfortable performing these tasks yourself, don't have the time to do it, or just want the peace of mind that pros are on the job, you should consider using professional winterization services.

Not only can an expert auto shop perform all the above services for you, but they can also do a thorough inspection of your vehicle to ensure it's 100% safe for you to be on the road. This includes checking for any trouble codes in your car's computer systems and fixing them.

By paying a little bit of money for a professional to take a look at your car, you'll feel completely confident when you're driving around this winter.

Properly Winterize Your Car for Safer Drives

Now that you know how to properly winterize your car, what are you waiting for? Don't spend another minute driving in an unsafe fashion.

Instead, heed our advice above so not only will you stay warm when on the road, but also safe. Every little bit in winterizing your car will be a worthy investment.

Want a professional's help in winterizing your car? Then schedule an appointment with us now!

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