8 Ways to Winterize Your Car

For everyone living in the Albany, NY and the greater Hudson Valley region, winter is coming.  Whether you like it or not it’s time to prepare.  Yesterday I wrote an article on How to Winterize Your Home and I thought it was only appropriate that today we address how to winterize your car.

Winterize your carThe following list is not complete, nor all inclusive.  My hope is that you look over this list and at least one of the tips will help you winterize your car.

8 Ways to Winterize Your Car

  1. Check the quality of your wiper blades.
    • Visibility is enough of an issue when its snowing.  A tough driving situation can become very dangerous when you have additional reduced visibility from water and dirt streaks.
  2. Inspect your car’s battery for corrosion at connection points.
    • Additionally make sure that there is a proper water level inside the battery itself.  Many auto repair shops have a device which can check your battery life.  Probably a good idea to get it checked at your next oil change.
  3. Make sure that your radiator fluid (Anti-Freeze) is properly mixed for cold temperature.
    • The rule of thumb for winter is a 50/50 split anti-freeze and water but I highly encourage you to get your mix checked at your next oil change or by purchasing a tester from an auto parts store.  Having your radiator freeze-up is a nightmare you don’t want to deal with.
  4. Prepare an emergency kit to keep in the car at all times.
    • Items contained in your emergency kit include but are not limited to a blanket, extra gloves, protein bar (non-perishable food), ice scraper, shovel, flashlight, flares, jumper cables, small tool and racket kit, towing chains or cables, inflated spare tire, tire-changing equipment, first-aid kit.  In the event of a breakdown, these items will be a blessing.
  5. Keep a bag of sand, salt or kitty litter in the truck of your car at all times.
    • These materials provide grip over ice and snow.  If you have ever slid into a ditch and watched your tires spin with zero traction you know how useful having a bag of abrasive material like this can be.  Additionally the weight of the bag helps add traction during driving.
  6. Check the tread on your tires.
    • A good set of All-Weather tires should last you 18-24 months.  However, factors such as misalignment of wheels and hard driving conditions can drastically reduce tire life.  Take your car to a tire expert to make sure you have proper wheel tread for the coming snow season.
  7. Be diligent to the oil change. 
    • There is a growing debate on the 3,000 mile oil change, regardless of your opinion, you should never go more than 5,000.  This is especially true during the winter when the cold decreases oil viscosity which can damage your engine.  If your engine locks up in a blizzard your going to pissed you didn’t spend the $25 for an oil change.
  8. Be observant of your tire pressure.
    • Tire pressure plays a large part in road traction. Be mindful of tire pressure and you can help avoid losing control on the road.

What additional ways can we winterize our cars?  Please add suggestions to the comments section below!!!

The Rub

Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention this last one… SLOW DOWN!

Good luck during the winter driving season!

P.S. If you’d like to ensure you have adequate auto insurance for the winter driving season give the Murray Group a call at (518) 456-6688 or Click Here to Email Us.

Image courtesy of Maggie Smith / FreeDigitalPhotos.net