Winterize your wheels: Get your car in tip-top shape for the cold
Winterize your wheels: Get your car in tip-top shape for the cold

Now that fall is almost over, it’s time to start thinking winter! So get your coats out of storage, break out your scarves and prime your car for winter driving conditions. Car, you ask?! Yes – C A R! Just as you prep your wardrobe for freezing temps, your vehicle needs cold weather preparation, too. And while it’s not difficult to winterize your car, it is very important. After all, no winter wardrobe in the world will protect you from standing in the freezing cold while waiting for roadside assistance!

Follow our simple tips, BEFORE the first snowflake falls, to keep your car running smoothly all winter long:

Have a mechanic check your vehicle’s oil, battery &connections, antifreeze level, brakes, thermostat, heater and defroster.

You can handle the rest:

Tread: Proper tread on your tires will shed wintry road grime and provide much-needed traction. So for the best traction possible, check the tread on your tires. To do so, you’ll need a penny. Now that the hard part is over and you’ve actually found a penny, place it within your tire’s grooves. Turn the penny so that Abe’s head is faced downward. Can you see his face? If not, then your tires are probably fine. If your tire’s grooves are shallow enough and you can see all of Honest Abe’s glorious mug, it’s probably time for new tires. The ideal amount of tread depth can depend on the road conditions in your community. If you’re unsure, have your mechanic check for technical accuracy.

Tire Pressure: Check your tire pressure regularly. This is easy to do with an inexpensive pressure gauge found at your favorite hardware store. You can find your car’s recommended tire PSI on the inside of your driver’s side door.

Lights: Visually inspect all lights. Make sure your car’s front and rear lights are operational. Don’t forget to check hazard lights.

Windshield and wipers: For maximum visibility, make sure your wiper blades are in top condition. Exchange your washer fluid with one made for freezing conditions and check the spray nozzles of your washer system for blockages. Use a pin to clear any blocked nozzles.

Wax: Road salt can really damage your car’s pretty paint job. A good wash will help, but a fresh wax will prevent corrosion.

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