New York City top view with snow

How to Winterize Your Vehicle

Even though automobile technology has advanced past the need to conduct elaborate winterization rituals, there are still some tricks you can use to keep your car running well throughout the winter months.

Read on to learn how you can prepare your vehicle for winter. You’ll be able to conduct some of the tips provided below on your own, but others may warrant the need for a mechanic.

Vehicular Winterization Steps

Check the Battery

Cold weather does a number on your vehicle’s battery. In extremely cold conditions, your car battery slows down significantly. When temperatures dip down to 5° Fahrenheit (F), a lead-acid battery that’s fully charged is at only half of its rated amp-hour capacity. Additionally, your engine mandates a higher current from the battery to start the engine.

When you pair reduced power output with added power requirements, you’re left with an engine that won’t turn over on a cold winter day.

Ask your mechanic to run a battery load test to determine whether you need to replace your car’s battery. Even if you don’t need to replace your battery, it’s still a good idea to have a mechanic take a look so they can check for and clean up any corrosion present on the posts and connections. It’s also possible for your mechanic to refill your battery with distilled water if necessary.

Replace Wiper Blades and Refill Wiper Fluid

It’s common for salt and precipitation to build up on your windshield during the winter months, which significantly reduces your visibility. That’s why it’s so important to have working wiper blades and a robust supply of wiper fluid to clear your windows with.

Wiper blades last only one year before they need to be replaced. If your area gets hit with winter weather particularly hard, it may be beneficial for you to purchase wiper blades intended for winter weather.

It’s important to be sure that the windshield wiper fluid you’re using has a low freezing temperature. That way, your wiper fluid won’t go solid in freezing temperatures.

Think About Using Snow Tires

If your area is layered with snow for the majority of winter, it may be wise to change out your all-season tires and utilize snow tires. Snow tires feature a softer rubber than all-season tires, which provides them the ability to remain flexible in the coldest conditions. Additionally, snow tires feature aggressive tread patterns that are specially designed to grip snow and ice.

It’s important to keep in mind that snow tires aren’t magic. Just because you’re using snow tires doesn’t mean your vehicle won’t be able to slip and slide on icy winter roads. You must still be very cautious driving in the snow, but you’re more likely to maintain control on snowy and icy roads with the proper tires.

Examine Your Tire Pressure

If you decide not to swap out your all-season tires for snow tires, it’s crucial that you make sure they’re appropriately inflated. Cold conditions cause a drop in your tires’ air pressure. In fact, your tires will experience roughly a 1psi drop for every 10°F decrease in temperature.

Test Your Four-Wheel-Drive

Be sure to have a mechanic check on your vehicle’s four-wheel-drive capabilities before the winter weather begins. A mechanic will be able to make sure your vehicle’s system operates without a hitch. In addition, make sure you remember how to use your car’s four-wheel-drive system if it’s been a while since you’ve used it.

Inspect Your Anti-Freeze Mixture

You should have roughly a 50:50 mixture of anti-freeze and water in your radiator to prevent it from freezing. In order to check your mixture, you’ll need an anti-freeze tester that your local auto parts store should have available for purchase.

Stay Stocked With Emergency Supplies

The last thing you want to do is be stuck in a snowstorm without the supplies you need. Keep the following items in your emergency kit:

  • A fully charged cell phone

  • Jumper cables

  • A flashlight

  • Roadside flares and/or a reflective triangle

  • MREs (meals ready to eat)

  • Warm/emergency blankets

  • An ice scraper

  • A first aid kit

  • Water bottles

  • A tow strap

  • A folding shovel

  • A portable air compressor

We’re Here to Help

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation. Our attorneys at The Odierno Law Firm are highly experienced in personal injury law and have helped many people obtain the compensation they rightly deserve. Don’t hesitate to contact our firm with your case right away.

Call The Odierno Law Firm today at (631) 250-4212 to speak with an attorney about your potential case.