The picture of the snow is beautiful. Down here in West Texas, we don’t have snow in the winter like that in the picture. In the last week or so, we’ve had some temperatures at night in the upper 20s. My husband started thinking about winterizing our cars. It made me start thinking… What do you do to winterize a car? So I asked him. His answer was “I’m not really sure because I take it to the service station and they get it ready.” Now to a newly frugal minded person I want to make sure that we are not charged for some things that we can do ourselves. So I started searching the net and here are some of the suggestions I found.
- 1. Check your car’s coolant. Your car needs the correct mixture to be protected in freezing tempatures. If necessary have the system flushed and the coolant replaced.
- 2. Check your battery. Make sure it will hold a charge. Clear away any corrosion that may have built up around the cables and the posts. If you have a battery that is over three years old, you may want to check into having it changed.
- 3. The hoses and belts need to be checked for wear and tear. Replace the belts if needed.
- 4. Get your car’s oil changed before it get really cold. If it is about time for your car’s oil to be changed, then go ahead and have it done. Don’t wait until it gets really cold. Cold temperatures tend to make the oil thicken. Thick oil is not good for your car’s engine.
- 5. Check the windshield wipers and windshield wiper fluid.Windshield wipers usually last about a year. They get brittle in the cold. If you are using your car in an area where there is a lot of snow and ice, the sand and salt put down on the road can get under your windshield wiper and may damage your windshield. Also, make sure that you keep windshield wiper fluid full. Water will not work in the winter for wiper fluid. It will freeze.
- 6. Check your tire pressure and tire tread.Tire pressure usually drops in colder weather. Low tire pressure will not give you good traction in ice and snow. Check your car manual to see what the appropriate tire pressure for your vehicle should be in colder weather. If the tread on your tires is becoming worn, now is the time you might want to consider replacing your tires. If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow and ice, you may even want to consider replacing the tires with snow tires.
- 7. Make sure that your spare tire has enough air and is not flat.If you are like my husband and me, we don’t think about the spare until we need it.
- 8. Have your brakes checked.You wouldn’t want to find out that you needed new brakes when they go out when traveling on snow and ice.
- 9. Check your front, back, and brake lights.Make sure that all lighting systems are working properly. The days are shorter and winter days can often be darker. You want to be able to see when you are driving and you want others to be able to see you.
We hope that the service station that we go to has been checking all of these things because we don’t have a clue how to do some of these things. Now we know to make certain that the service station is doing what we don’t know how to do.
Hope these tips help you in getting your car winterized for the winter and in making sure you know what to tell the service station you want done. If there are any additional tips that you can think of, please let us hear from you!