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Getting Your Car Ready For The Winter Season

Nov 9, 2007
With the winter season quickly approaching, and with October being National Car Care month, the time to get your vehicle ready for the cold months will be upon us before we know it. With every vehicle there are numerous things to keep in mind when winterizing, such as your battery, tires, cooling system, and oil. With that in mind, here's some advice on what to think about when you're getting your car ready for another season of cold.


As the only part of your car that actually touches the road, making sure that your tires are ready for the winter season is probably the first and most important thing to take into account when winterizing your vehicle. While making sure that your tires are rotated and aligned is important, checking the tread on your tires is probably the first thing that should be checked on your new and used cars.

If getting your car to your local car dealership isn't a viable option, then an easy way to check the tread on your tires is to take a penny and insert it into the most worn section of your tired tread. If you are able to see Mr. Lincoln's head, then it's time to get your tires replaced, preferably before there's snow on the ground. Depending on the region you live in, then checking the tread on your tires might not be enough, and you may need snow tires to make it through the winter. Figure out which option will best suit your needs and make sure that you have everything taken care of before the first flakes of snow fall.

Getting your tires checked out is easily the simplest and most important thing you can do to make sure that your care is ready for the winter season...but it's not the only thing.

Cooling System

Ok, with winter on its way it seems counter-productive to be thinking of your cooling system, but your cooling system is also what houses your anti-freeze, which is very important to making it through this winter. While you should change out the anti-freeze in your new or used car every two years, it's always a good idea to have it checked before the start of every winter. Swinging by a dealership that does oil changes is a quick way to have your anti-freeze levels checked and make sure that you won't have to worry about your car freezing up.

With having your anti-freeze checked, it's not a bad idea to pour one of many anti-freezing chemicals that are designed for your fuel lines. This can help to prevent any moisture that's in your fuel line from freezing up and preventing your car from starting or damaging the fuel lines which can add up to costly repairs.


While checking your anti-freeze levels it's also a good idea to have your oil checked. Getting it changed every 5000 miles is a good way to go, but having it checked before it gets cold outside is a good way to help avoid engine troubles as the winter season gets into full swing.


Make sure that your battery's terminals are clean and tight, ensuring a good connection for your electrical systems. Getting the charge checked on your battery before the bad weather hits is a good way to make sure that you won't have to have your care jumped in three feet of snow.

Heater and Defroster

Make sure that your heater and defroster work before the winter hits. Not only is this important for your own comfort inside of the car, but it's important for ensuring that you'll have good visibility through your windows.

Emergency Kit

If you don't already have an emergency bad weather kit in your car, now is a good time to make one. A warm blanket, jumper cables, an ice scraper, de-icer, rock salt or sand, a tire inflator, a flashlight, and a few snacks are essential parts to any snow emergency kit. If you already have one, check to make sure that everything in there is still in good shape and easily accessible. If for some reason you do have car troubles and are stranded you'll want these things to help make it until help arrives.

Getting your car ready for the winter season doesn't have to take long, but not getting it done can cost you a lot of money when you have to get these things repaired in the middle of the winter season or when you're forced to buy a new car after your current vehicle is damaged beyond repair. Save yourself some time, money, and protect your safety by getting your car checked out and ready for the winter season as soon as possible.
About the Author
Scott Conklin is president of Conklin Cars, a new and used automotive group with dealerships in Hutchinson, Newton and Salina, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri. They can be found at: http://www.conklinfangman.com and http://www.conklincars.com .
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