Maintaining the integrity of your vehicle(s) is simple, as long as you follow a few key steps and perform regular maintenance checks. OneRequest has you covered with the best ways to prepare your car for winter.*
Check Your Car Battery
Car batteries are arguably one of the most important components of your vehicle. Car batteries control the electrical current inside your vehicle that allows you to start your engine and for the engine to power your car. Simply put, your vehicle won't work without a car battery. Consult a professional auto mechanic or repair shop, to make sure your battery is running properly.
When it's time for a new battery, don't throw the old one away! 99% of a vehicle battery can be repurposed.
Find a recycling center near you.
Change the Oil
You were probably expecting this to make the list! Changing your oil on a regular basis is one of the best ways to care for your car, no matter what season it is. Failing to change the oil can damage your vehicle's engine and lower gas mileage. Consult your vehicle's owner manual for the recommended type of oil and change interval.
Examine the Tires
Winter weather often brings tricky driving conditions. It's important to check your tires to make sure they have proper traction. Depending on your experience with checking tires you can check them on your own at home or you can consult professional help at a local mechanic or auto repair shop. Cold weather causes a shift of 1 psi for every 10 degree drop in temperature. Make sure to check your tire pressure when there are dramatic changes in temperature to avoid tire trouble, compromised handling, increased tire wear, and lower gas mileage.
Did you know you can use a quarter to check your tire pressure? Place an upside down quarter in the tired tread. If the top of George Washington's head is flush with the tread or you can see space above his head, it's time for new tires.
Protect Your Windshield Wipers
The chances of your windshield wipers freezing to your front window increase during the winter. To protect your windshield wipers, lift them up off the windshield when you park your car outside or put a protective layer around them. Leaving your windshield wipers up will not cause damage to your car or your wiper arms, but it will save you some trouble from defrosting. Another option is investing in winter windshield wiper covers. This allows you to protect your wipers, while leaving them flat on the windshield.
Build A Winter Car Kit
Time to D.I.Y.! Building a winter car kit is simple. It's also a great way to provide yourself peace of mind when winter weather hits and you're out driving. Here are some useful items the OneRequest team recommends. These items can be found at most department stores, grocery stores and auto shops.
- Blankets and extra clothes (include hand warmers for bonus warmth)
- Flashlight and batteries
- Snow brush or ice scraper
- Salt and portable shovel
- Windshield washer fluid
- Water and snacks
- First Aid kit
- Booster cables
Lubricate Parts of Your Car
It's the worst to get out to your car in the morning and realize the doors are frozen shut. Avoid that morning chaos by lubricating your car window tracks and door weather stripping. It wouldn't hurt to spray your hood latch, door locks, door hinge, and gas tank lid, as well. We recommend you use a silicon spray or grease - when used properly, these sprays make a minimal mess. Best part? No more frozen doors!
For a step-by-step guide on lubricating parts of your car before winter, visit Family Handyman.
Check the Defroster and Heater
Finish off your winter vehicle preparation by checking your defroster and heater in your car. These are both typically buttons you can press and test from your front control panel. If they work, you are in the clear. If you suspect an issue, we suggest you make an appointment with a local auto repair shop to have it fixed before winter weather leaves you in the cold.
Winter weather can be tricky, but hopefully these tips can help you feel confident driving in the upcoming months. Be on the lookout for upcoming articles and don't forget to request your next car via OneRequest.
*Please consult expert advice when it comes to maintaining and fixing any part of your vehicle. This post is composed of suggestions based on OneRequest team member's personal experiences and is not professional auto maintenance and safety advice.