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Winterizing Your Car

By January 2, 2024No Comments

The cold weather is coming, along with ice, snow and salted roads. You know how difficult it is to drive in snow if you live in Minneapolis. If you learn how to prepare your car for the cold weather you will be able to maintain it and travel in the snow with more comfort.

What can you do to winterize your car? Take a look at the following steps to make your winter travels safer.

1. Check tire pressure

Tires are what will give you traction in the snow and help you move through it. Tire pressure is affected by freezing temperatures like those in Boston. It’s possible that the weather is to blame if you have ever started your vehicle on a cold morning and the low tire-pressure light came on. You still need to maintain pressure, even though your tire pressure will return to normal after you drive.

You should ideally check your tire pressure once a week. This is especially important if you have driven in snow or plan to do so. This will give you peace-of-mind and allow you to begin your winter journey without worrying about your tire pressure.

2. Fill up the Tires

You need to refill your tires if you still see a low-pressure warning on your dashboard after a few minutes of driving. Tire checks can help you determine when you need to fill your tires. No matter how many warnings you receive, you will want to maintain your tires. Maintaining the correct pressure will help you maintain your gas mileage as well as the tread on your tire.

Your vehicle’s make, model and type of tire will determine the PSI (pounds per square inch) you should use to fill your tires. You can find out how much air you need to add in your owner’s guide or on a sticker attached to the door jamb. Check your tires for damage, holes and nails if you find that the pressure in your tires doesn’t stay constant after adding air.

3. Check Tire Tread

The penny test is a great way to check the tread on your tires. The penny test is done by placing Abe Lincoln’s face down between the treads. If the tread reaches his head, your treads are usually good. This test is no longer accurate.

The penny test only measured the tread of your tire to 2/32 inches, but a new standard recommends 4/32 inch tread. How do you measure it? Instead of a penny, use a quarter. Flip the coin in the same way as the penny with George Washington’s face pointing downward between the treads. Your tire tread will be good if it reaches the head of President Washington. It may be time to replace your tires if you see that the tread is worn down or if there are other damages.

4. Consider Snow Tires

Snow tires are a great option for drivers who want to improve their winter driving safety or need new tires. You’ll have more traction on hills and poor roads if you winterize your tires this way. Consider this if you are considering replacing your snow tires with new all-season ones. All-season tires, according to some experts, are just as good as snow tires that have been worn down. What makes snow tires so much better? What makes snow tires better?

  • Superior tread patterns
  • Design for traction in ice and on snow
  • Soft rubber compounds improve grip
  • The design is designed to help them endure the cold

These tires are often called winter tires because they perform well in cold and ice as well as snow. Whatever you call them they are a great option for winterizing a vehicle.

5. Change Oil, Antifreeze, and Other Fluids

You should check your car fluids at all times, but especially in winter. You should change your oil every three to four months, no matter the season. It depends on the car you have and how much you drive. You can expect to change your oil every 3,000 to 15,000 kilometers.

Checking your antifreeze level is important because it keeps the system of your car from freezing. If your coolant level is at the maximum, add a mix of 50/50 coolant and antifreeze or water.

Check other fluids, such as your windshield washer fluid. Winter roads are notorious for kicking up mud and salt. You won’t have to stop and clean your dirty windshield manually if you keep your windshield washers full.


When you need to replace or refill your windshield wiper liquid, use a winter formulation. Winter windshield washer fluids contain antifreeze in order to prevent them from freezing during cold winter temperatures. Winter formulas can still freeze in cold temperatures, particularly during Boston’s rough winters.

7. Replace Windshield Wiper Blades

Check the condition of your wipers while we’re talking about windshields. Change them every six to twelve months, depending on how well they are maintained and how much you use them. It’s time to replace your wipers if you notice streaks or a loud squeaking after using them. Check the rubber blades for any cracks, splits or broken pieces.

8. Fix Your Heater

Keeping your heater working in the car will keep you safe and comfortable. The heater will help you see better while driving by clearing frost from your windows, windshield and rear window. It’s important to keep your car at a warm temperature, rather than letting it stay in the cold for too long. Cold temperatures can cause fluids to thicken, and even your battery.

9. Get Your Brakes Checked

You will feel more secure when you drive in the snow if your brakes are serviced prior to the winter. You may also want them checked once or twice during the season, depending on how frequently you drive your car. As you drive in winter, your brakes are put under strain. The combination of road salt, moisture in winter and freezing and unfreezing can cause brake wear.

Winter can also cause rust spots on your rotors and dirty brake fluids. Checking the brake fluid when you have them inspected and purchasing a new formula for winter can help maintain this important system.

10. Inspect your battery

It’s not a good idea to be stranded with a dead car battery. Ask a stranger to jumpstart your car or carry an portable jump starter. It’s worth doing some maintenance if it can save you from the hassle. Check your battery using these steps before winter driving.

  • Check the top of the case for any cracks, oozing, or corrosion.
  • Check to see if the posts and connectors are corrosion-free.
  • Check the water level of your battery.
  • Make sure that the brackets are not corroded and hold your battery securely.
  • If your battery is older than three years, have a shop certified test it to see if the battery still holds a charge.

11. Make a Winter Emergency Kit

Be prepared for the unexpected, even with all these precautions. Pack a kit with the items you might need in case of an emergency when you winterize your vehicle. The items you choose to pack will be determined by how much space you have for your emergency kit, and how prepared or unprepared you want to be. At least you should pack these items.

  • Jumper cables and portable jump starters
  • Tire chains
  • Two blankets or more
  • New batteries for flashlights
  • A first-aid kit
  • Winter or waterproof gloves
  • Snow Boots
  • Socks
  • Waterproof matches
  • A ice scraper
  • If you get stuck, a bag of sand will provide traction.
  • Snacks that have a long shelf-life
  • Water bottles

Keep your kit up to date, especially if you live in a region with extreme temperatures. Take your jump starters and other items that contain batteries to your vehicle before driving.