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Pampering Your Car Through Winter’s Chill

winterize your car
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Don’t let winter’s bite leave you stranded on a cold highway. There are some simple things you can do to keep your vehicle running great even when you’re wishing you were on a tropical island somewhere sipping a margarita.

Scrutinize Your Tires

Get a lot of snow where you live or where you’re heading? Plan accordingly. You might get by on your regular tires depending on the conditions where you live. But if you’re expecting a harsher winter then your regular tires probably won’t cut it. Now’s a good time to change out to winter tires or make sure you have snow chains or cables handy. If you haven’t installed the chains/cables before, do a text run before you actually need them.

Check Your Oil and Coolant

Take a look at what type of oil you’re putting in your vehicle. For winter, one of the best options is to use a 5W-30 oil, which can flow quicker in cold weather. Pay attention, also, to the coolant and make sure you’re using a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and distilled water.

Change Out the Blades

It’s a good idea to give your car a new set of windshield wiper blades every year. This is a pretty simple pre-winter choice you can make to increase visibility in times of poor weather conditions. There are also wiper fluids that are mixed with a de-icer—a perfect choice for the winter months.

Monitor Tire Pressure

It’s obviously important to keep good traction during wet or snowy road conditions and one way you can do this is by making sure your tires are properly inflated. When the temperature drops, it can cause the air pressure to drop as well. Keep a watch on it and pump them up as needed.

Create an Emergency Kit

The last thing you want is to be stranded in bad weather and be kicking yourself for not thinking ahead. It doesn’t take too much effort to prepare an emergency kit and you’ll definitely thank yourself if you need to pull it out and use it. Stock it with water, nonperishable snacks, emergency blankets, flashlight, ice scraper, bag of salt, road flares, jumper cables, gloves, and first aid supplies.

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Marla Milling
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Marla Hardee Milling is a full-time freelance writer living in a place often called the Paris of the South, Sante Fe of the…
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