During winter months, your car undergoes a lot of stress due to harsh weather conditions. To stay safe and avoid major mechanical problems, here are a few things you should do to prepare your car for winter.

Check all Fluid Levels

One of the first things you should check is your coolant system. Although it sounds backwards, your car can overheat due to freezing. If your coolant system doesn’t contain the right proportions of water and antifreeze you can cause the system to freeze and it will stop cooling your engine properly. Flush your car’s coolant system before the first freeze to avoid having problems. While you’re at it, check the system for leaks and install fresh coolant. Check your oil and transmission fluids as well, which can change consistency due to cold temperatures.

Inspect Tires

Making sure your tires are in good condition is especially important during winter months. You should have them rotated and inspected to ensure you aren’t driving on bald or dry-rotted tires. It’s a good idea to side with caution and replace any tires that are looking worn. One tip to help with traction during the winter is to place two bags of sand in your trunk by the rear tires, weighing them down. Later, if you get stuck you can use the sand to free your tires. You can also apply tire chains for added traction on slippery roads.

Look Over Other Key Parts

Other key parts you should look at to prepare your car for winter include your heating system, windshield wipers, brakes, and the electrical system. Make sure the core of your heating system doesn’t leak, the blower works, and the window defroster operates normally. Have your brakes checked and make sure the battery and charging system are working properly.

Keep up with Regular Maintenance

Stay on track with the regular maintenance of your car and pay attention to any changes in its performance. Keep your car as well-tuned as possible during winter months to keep yourself safe during storms and other emergencies.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

One last thing you should do to prepare your car for winter is put together an emergency kit. Keep a bright colored car cover in your trunk, along with flares, a flashlight, spare batteries, a battery operated radio, a small shovel, a sleeping bag, a first aid kit, and some food and water. The car cover can help retain heat within your car and protect you from wind and cold if you get stranded. Additionally, the bright color can help rescue teams and aircraft spot your car if you are in a severe situation.

Prepare Your Car for Winter Weather

Stay safe this season and prepare your car for winter driving conditions early. Take the time necessary to ensure the safety of yourself and your family and remember that being over-prepared is better than being underprepared. Contact us at Cascade Collisions if you have any questions or need help with your winter preparations.