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Winter Car Tips on Winterizing your Car

Winter Car Maintenance

Unless you live in a warm or moderate climate, here's a list of things you should be doing to make sure you're ready for old man winter.

Driving in severe winter weather can be a harrowing experience, requiring a lot of concentration and composure. However, it's just as tough on cars because too few drivers take the time to completely winterize their cars. Unless you live in a warm or moderate climate, here's a list of winter car tips you should be doing to make sure you’re ready for old man winter.

Here are 15 things experts recommend you keep in your car at all times:

1. Flush the cooling system and replace the coolant
The ideal mixture of antifreeze (coolant) and water inside your vehicle's radiator is 50/50. If the mixture deviates from this norm, then hot- and cold-weather performance can suffer.

2. Check your windshield wiper blades
If your car's blades are worn or older than one year, make sure to replace them.

3. Replace your windshield washer fluid
Use cold-weather fluid that will not freeze at the coldest winter temperature. Visibility can easily be compromised by salt build-up on the windshield.

4. Check your battery
Very cold temperatures can reduce a vehicle's battery power by up to 50 percent. Have your battery serviced and load-tested to check its ability to hold a charge. If the battery is more than four and-a-half years old, it may be a good idea to replace it.

5. Check tire pressure
As the temperature drops your tires will likely lose pressure. While you’re at it, make sure there is air in the spare tire and that all the proper tire-changing equipment is in the vehicle.

6. Make sure your tires have plenty of tread
Worn tires on a slick road are extremely dangerous. If you are not sure about the condition of your tires, consult your mechanic.

7. Keep the gas tank as full as possible
Running out of gas in freezing conditions would not be good. So, having a full tank of gas not only helps in the case of bad weather, but it also helps prevent moisture from freezing in the gas lines.

8. Get a tune up
Check your owner's manual for the recommended intervals.

9. Pack a safety kit An emergency situation on the road can arise at any time, so it helps to be prepared. Here are some suggested items to carry in your trunk:

  • A flashlight, flares and a first-aid kit.

  • Jumper cables, a tool kit and tire chains.

  • A blanket, warm clothes, hat and gloves.

  • Paper towels.

  • A bag of salt or kitty litter for added traction when a tire is stuck.

  • A snow brush, ice scraper and snow shovel.

  • Extra windshield washer fluid.

  • Extra food and bottled water.

You can learn more about auto insurance and consider some car insurance discounts that may surprise you and reduce your rate if you qualify.
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