Quick Tips to Get Your Vehicle Winter Ready!

By: Michael Fossbakk | November 23, 2020

While there are plenty of things to enjoy about the winter season in Michigan, there is one thing most Michiganders are not overly fond of this time of year: driving.

The first day of winter is technically on December 21st, but as we approach that date, it’s important to make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape and ready to take on the lower temperatures and the abundance of snow and ice that will inevitably follow.

You’ve probably heard of “winterizing” your car. This phrase refers to the practice of making sure certain parts of your vehicle are ready for the weather effects that come with the coldest time of the year. Below, you’ll find five tips you can do to winterize your vehicle today.

Check Your Tire Pressure (and Maintain It!)

When the temperature changes outside, it has a direct effect on the air pressure in your vehicle’s tires. If the temperature drops by 10 degrees fahrenheit, it can result in a change of 1 PSI in your tires. Your vehicle should have a sticker located near the driver’s seat/door that lists the recommended PSI levels for your vehicle.

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Invest in Winter Wipers

We all know the frustration of waking up to find your vehicle completely frozen over in the morning. This ice accumulation can be bad for your vehicle’s wiper blades, so it is a very good idea to invest in a pair of winter wipers. These will be heavier and are resistant to ice accumulation. Due to their increased weight and therefore increased load on the wiper motor, it’s important to replace them with non-winter wipers when winter is over.

Top Off Your Washer Fluid

Winter is notorious for spending windshield wiper fluid and when all kinds of weather hazards are hitting your windshield, you’ll want to be sure you have enough to keep the glass clean and your visibility high. Keep the washer fluid reservoir topped off with washer fluid that is made for winter’s low temperatures.

Bring a Winter Safety Kit

If worse comes to worst and you find yourself stranded in your vehicle, you will want to have a few things prepared. These items include:

  • A first aid kit
  • Flares
  • A flashlight with extra batteries
  • An ice scraper
  • Non-perishable food (such as granola bars) and water
  • Warm clothing
  • Jumper cables
  • A bag of sand and a shovel in case your vehicle is stuck and extra traction is needed
  • Extra bottle of antifreeze
  • A fully-charged cell phone
  • A standard automotive tool kit

Have a Certified Service Technician Look at Your Vehicle

The tips above are all things most people can do on their own, but there are some things you’ll want a Certified Service Technician to take care of. This includes looking at the health of your vehicle’s battery, cooling system, brakes, belts, spark plugs and more. For example, winter weather calls for a battery rated at 600 CCA (cold cranking amperes) or higher. CCA is the industry standard for rating a battery’s performance in sub-zero temperatures.