5 Steps to Prepare Your Car for Winter Driving

by Mildred Robertson
Ways to Prepare Your Card for Winter Driving photo

Getting your car ready for winter driving isn’t difficult but it’s necessary. By taking these steps, your car will be able to get you where you need to go and get you there in one piece.

With frigid temperatures quickly approaching, it’s important that you make sure your car is ready for winter driving.

Never mind getting stranded on the side of the road, what about getting stranded in your own driveway?

Here are the things that you need to do to make sure your car not only gets you where you need to go this winter, but gets you there safely.

1. Check Your Battery

Did you know that your battery may not last for five years? While many batteries will get you through several winters, how you use them will determine their life.

If you routinely plug in your smartphone or even watch movies in your vehicle, you could be diminishing the life of your battery without even knowing it.

According to Norman Riggs, a car, truck and bus repairman, checking your battery is an important step in winterizing your vehicle. A quick check will make sure that you’re not still looking for a jump five minutes before you’re due at the office or an appointment.

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2. Check Your Pipes

Many people fail to check their exhaust system unless there is an obvious problem. Because exhaust fumes can be deadly, it’s important that you make sure your system is in proper working condition before you fight the snowy roads.

People drive with their windows closed. If you have a leaky exhaust pipe, your car could fill with toxic fumes before you realize what’s happening, putting both you and your passengers at very real risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.

3. Visibility

If your windshield wipers annoyed you with their skipping during the summer rain, imagine how dangerous that skipping will be when your windshields are full of ice and snow.

Make sure that you replace wiper blades, check your defroster, and make sure that your lights are working properly before winter sets in. If you’ve been putting off replacing that burnt out brake light, get it done.

Your lights could save your life on a snowy road.

4. Fill Up

Get in the habit of keeping your car’s gas tank full before blizzards are a part of our daily weather.

Experts recommend that you never let your needle fall below a quarter of a tank during the cold months; you’re better to not drop below a half of a tank.

Keeping your tank full will ensure that you not only have the gas to get you where you need to go, but also you’ll have enough gas if you get stuck in traffic or stranded on a snowy road.

5. Emergency Kit

Every car should have an emergency kit for the winter season.

Your kit should contain a blanket or sleeping bag, a flashlight with fresh batteries, energy bars, bottled water, matches or a lighter, a small shovel, and a bag of sand.

Additionally, your car should contain a first-aid kit, jumper cables, flares, a spare tire that’s inflated properly, and other emergency essentials.

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Getting your car ready for winter driving isn’t difficult but it’s necessary.

If you want to ensure the safety of yourself and your passengers, you have to make sure that your car is ready for the weather that’s coming. By following the five winter driving tips above, your car will be able to get you where you need to go and get you there in one piece.

Reviewed August 2021

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Subscribe to After 50 Finances, our weekly newsletter dedicated to people 50 years and older. Each issue features financial topics and other issues important to the 50+ crowd that can help you plan for a comfortable retirement even if you haven't saved enough.

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You deserve a comfortable retirement.

Subscribe to After 50 Finances, our weekly newsletter dedicated to people 50 years and older. Each issue features financial topics and other issues important to the 50+ crowd that can help you plan for a comfortable retirement even if you haven't saved enough.

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