Properly preparing your vehicle for the winter can help keep it running great, and it can also help you drive safer when conditions become treacherous because of ice and snow. That’s why we’ve compiled a short guide to winter car care. Check out the information below to access some tips to prevent problems that may be caused by frigid temperatures.
Purchase Winter Car Supplies
Having the right supplies on hand will allow you to quickly and easily clean your car when it’s covered in snow or ice. Snow brushes and ice scrapers can be kept at home and in your vehicle so you’ll always have access to them, even if you aren’t home when snowy conditions arise.
If you’d prefer purchasing something that combines a snow brush and ice scraper in one easy-to-use product, some top recommendations include:
- Mallory Cool Tool Snow Brush with Integrated Scraper and Foam Grip Handle
- Snow Joe SJBLZD Telescoping Snow Broom with Ice Scraper
- Subzero Super Extender Snow Broom with Integrated Squeegee Head and Ice Scraper
- True Temper Scratch-Free Snow Brush
- Snow Moover Extendable Snow Brush with Squeegee and Ice Scraper
Switch to Winter Tires
Even if you have an all-wheel drive vehicle, it might be best to switch all four of your tires to those that are specifically designed for use in wintry conditions, especially if you’re in an area where the temperature falls below 7°C (45°F).
Winter tires can provide you with better traction, handling, and control, especially when turning and braking, when the temperature drops and whenever there is snow or ice on the road.
Here are a few of the top products to consider when shopping for winter tires:
- Bridgestone Blizzak WS80
- Goodyear Eagle Ultra Grip Ice WRT
- Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D
- Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4
- Hankook I*Cept Evo W310
Tip: Regularly check your tires’ pressure to be sure that they’re properly inflated at all times.
Check and Replace Your Car’s Wiper Blades
When it comes to preparing your car for the winter, another step involves checking the condition of your wipers. After all, if you’re driving in wet and snowy conditions, you don’t want your visibility to be compromised by worn out wiper blades.
You’ll need to replace the wiper blades if you notice that they aren’t working as well as they should. For example, if you see streaks left behind after using the wipers, or parts of your windshield aren’t being cleaned by the wipers, it’s likely that the blades aren’t in the best shape and will need to be replaced.
Tip: Leaving the wipers lifted in a raised position can help keep them from freezing onto the car’s windshield during inclement weather. Plus, this will make it easier to use your ice scraper and snow brush to clean the windshield too.
Protect Your Car from Road Salt
Salt is used to make roads safer during the winter, but when it gets on your car, it can wreak havoc on the paint and lead to corrosion. Thankfully, there is a simple solution to this problem.
To help prevent damage, have your car thoroughly washed (including the undercarriage) regularly throughout the winter, and apply a coat of wax that can act as a barrier against grime and salt.
Keep an Eye on the Battery
When the temperature drops, car batteries don’t maintain their charge as well, so the odds of your battery dying might be higher in the winter.
The last thing you want is for your car to fail to start when you get in the driver’s seat, so checking the charge level is a good idea. You can do this yourself with the right products, or you can ask a professional to do it for you.
If you find that your battery isn’t holding a charge like it should, simply replace it with a new one to reduce the odds of being stranded.
Winter Car Care Doesn’t Have to Be Challenging
From changing your wiper blades to switching to winter tires, the right products can help ensure a safer ride even when you’re navigating hazardous road conditions during the winter. So, even though it might seem like a bit of a hassle at first, consider taking extra care of your vehicle during this harsh season. By following a few simple steps, you can keep your car running smoothly until the spring returns, and you can have peace of mind whenever you head out and the forecast is looking frightful.