Winter is coming and now is the time to winterize your vehicles. But what does that really mean?
If you keep up with regular maintenance, there is not a whole lot to do. A simple inspection before the cold settles in is helpful to avoid delays or bigger issues. Most of winterizing is pretty common sense, but here is a list of items that will have you feeling extra prepared.
- Battery – have it tested and replaced if needed
- Fluids – windshield washer fluid will be needed often so be sure the reservoir is full. Be sure that coolant is at the proper level and condition
- Wipers – check for tears which cause streaking and reduced visibility
- Heating and Air Conditioning – Heat is obvious but the A/C system is important for the defrost to work well.
- Lights – be sure headlights, brake lights, and turn signals are working well
- Tires – You want good tires with adequate tread
- Tire Pressure – air pressure changes when the temperature changes.
- Engine Oil – be sure the engine has the proper amount of clean oil
- Hoses & Belts – inspect for cracks and obvious wear and tear
- 4Wheel Drive vs All-Wheel Drive – revisit the procedure to operate the 4 wheel drive to ensure it’s working properly. If you have all-wheel drive – congrats! You don’t need to do anything about it!
Extras steps to consider:
- Spraying a silicone lubricant on your locks to avoid them freezing up.
- Put a safety kit in the back or truck of your vehicle.
A blanket, flashlight (best to store batteries separately), bottle of water, gloves, hat, scarf, snacks and some kitty litter (for help if your tires are stuck in snow or slush and you need some traction).
- If you don’t have floor mats, consider adding them for winter. They help soak up water and mud, protecting the carpet in your vehicle.
- It’s best to let your engine warm up before you hit the road!