How to Prepare Your Car for Winter

Now that the temperature is dropping as winter inches closer, do yourself a favor and check the air pressure in your vehicle’s tires. Often times, the pressure in your tires can drop dramatically once the air outside gets colder (1 psi per 10 degrees F, so 70 degrees dropping to 30 means a 4 psi drop), and it can have a big effect on the way your car drives. You should fill up your tires if they’re low on air and even consider swapping out your existing tires for winter ones if you are able to.

There are other steps you should take to make sure your vehicle is prepared for winter, too.

Check out some of the things you can do to ensure your car, truck, or SUV is ready for the colder months.

Make sure your headlights and brake lights are working

Depending on where exactly you live, you might be forced to deal with everything from heavy snow to thick fog once the winter officially gets underway. If your headlights and brake lights aren’t working properly right now, that could cause issues for you by making it tough for others to see you on the road. Check all your exterior lights to make sure they’re doing their job when your car is turned on.

Inspect your windshield for any signs of small cracks

If you have even the tiniest crack in your windshield, it could begin to grow exponentially as soon as the temperature drops below freezing on a regular basis. Once that happens, you could be forced to replace your windshield altogether to keep your car safe. You can avoid having to do that by repairing the small cracks prior to the winter season.

Test your car battery

Most car batteries aren’t designed to perform well in the winter. The cold weather can take a toll on the cells in batteries and prevent them from providing your car with the power it needs to start up. It’s a good idea to test your battery at the beginning of the winter to see if it’s in good condition. If it’s not, think about replacing it with a new one to steer clear of having to jump your car all winter long.

Consider putting a fresh coat of wax over the exterior of your vehicle

Many people choose to wax their cars in the spring and summer when they want to show them off. They don’t always see the sense in waxing them in the winter. But a fresh coat of wax can protect your vehicle from the damage that can be done by salt that’s put down on the roads to melt snow and ice. It can also offer protection from dirt and debris that show up during the wintertime.

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