The subzero temperatures that hit most of the country from December to February are hard on the human body. This is why so many people use heated mattress pads and electric blankets on their beds and wear Gerbing Gyde heated apparel when they go outside in winter.
Well, those same freezing temperatures can be just as hard on cars, trucks, and SUVs, which is why your vehicle also requires special attention at this time of year. If you haven’t done so already, here’s how to winterize your car to protect it from the elements and keep it running smoothly:
- Inspect your tires for visible signs of tread wear or other damage. If you drive in an area that gets a lot of snow, be sure to change your all-season tires to snow tires before the first storm.
- Inflate all tires to the recommended level for winter driving as specified in your owner’s manual.
- Confirm that your wiper blades are in excellent condition and replace if needed.
- Check your vehicle’s critical oils and fluids, including engine oil, transmission fluid, and antifreeze, and top off or change as necessary.
- Swap out your summer emergency kit for a winter version containing such things as sand or kitty litter to use for traction; battery-heated gloves and jacket; electric blanket or sleeping bag rated for subzero temperatures; and portable stove with fuel source.
- Use heated seat pads or 12-volt heated travel throws in the cabin to keep the driver and passengers warm on longer trips.
- Apply a rustproofing sealant to the undercarriage of your vehicle to protect against the damaging effects of road salt.
As we noted last week, many regions in the US are expected to experience colder than usual temperatures and above average precipitation this winter because of El Nino. Make sure your car is ready for the onslaught by winterizing it according to the tips listed here.