How to Prepare Your Car for Winter

A Car on an Icy Road to Illustrate the Need to Winterize a Car for Bad Weather.

Seasonal Hazards Create the Need to Winterize Your Vehicle for Safety and Comfort.

Winter car breakdown is a common occurrence that can become a true hazard. An unprepared driver, driving a car that has received no weatherization, could become stranded. A complete breakdown will neutralize a car’s heater, and without proper preparation, you could find yourself cold and helpless, totally reliant on your cell phone to summon help. At Express Auto Repair & Emissions, we don’t want anyone to find themselves in these circumstances. To winterize a car requires a little effort, but generates a lot of peace of mind.

Cars can develop several major issues if not prepped for cold weather. Some of these, including the sudden death of the car’s battery, or the freezing of its fuel lines, can leave you without transportation. Of course, there’s more to winterization than prepping your vehicle’s mechanical components. You must also think about your personal comfort and safety, should an unforeseen problem occur. After all, it’s one thing to run out of fuel or blow a tire in nice weather, when you can simply relax and wait for help. In winter, preparation dictates that you provide also for your personal needs. To schedule professional help and winterize a car in Schaumburg, IL, call Express Auto Repair & Emissions today at 847-895-9131.

How Do I Prepare My Car for Winter?

Obviously, the level of preparation you must undergo varies widely based on your location. If you live in a place that consistently freezes, with snow and iced roads, then you need to take your prep seriously. To winterize a car, you must not only work to ensure its functionality, but also its status as a haven should an unforeseen problem occur. Cover the following areas, and you can drive freely in the knowledge that you’re protected from wintry hazards.

Check Your Fluids: If you only accomplish one component of car winterization, make sure that you check your fluids. The relevant ones to winterize a car are:

  • Oil
  • Coolant
  • Wiper Fluid

In places where it freezes on a regular basis, some mechanics recommend that car owners switch their oil to a thinner blend. This depends on your vehicle, however, and requires a professional opinion or review of your car’s manual. Your antifreeze coolant is the best defense that your vehicle has against the effects of cold weather. You will absolutely want to make sure that your vehicle has the maximum amount possible. To determine this, you may need to purchase a tester from an auto parts store. Lastly, make sure to attend to the oft-overlooked wiper fluid. If your fluid freezes, it will create a dangerous situation as you struggle to see the road. For a solution, simply replace this fluid with a freeze-resistant variety.

What Is the Best Winter Battery?

Dead batteries are another major consequence of bad weather. Cold weather can lessen your battery’s ability to function, a problem that can leave you stranded in a parking lot, along a deserted road, or simply in your driveway as you need to leave for work. To prevent this, you’ll first want to check your battery’s cables for wear, cracks, or breakage. Also, make sure that they remain firmly connected. You must then check your battery fluid. You can typically inspect its levels through the refill hole, and can shore it up with the addition of distilled water. Finally, look for a manufacture date on your battery. If it has served for three years or more, you should have it replaced. As for the best winter battery, a professional review site recommends Optima Batteries Yellow Top.

What Are Winter Car Tires?

To Winterize a Car, You May Want to Include Hazard Signs.

A Winter Car Kit Can Also Include Hazard Signs and Road Flares.

The last car components that deserve attention are the tires. First, check your tire pressure and treads. Improperly inflated or worn tires represent a true hazard on frozen roads. If you live in an area where the roads frequently ice over, consider the purchase of winter car tires. These are specialized tires made to grip icy roads and power your vehicle through wintry conditions. If you live in a rural area, you might want to consider the purchase of winter tires equipped with studs.

Winter Car Emergency Kit

After you’ve seen to the needs of your vehicle, you should provide for your own personal comfort and safety. A winter car emergency kit is an indispensable addition to any vehicle. As a matter of fact, your car should have an emergency kit all year round. When winter arrives, you can simply add a few seasonal items. A winter car emergency kit should include:

  • Water in a Freeze-Resistant Container
  • Blankets, Winter Hats, and Gloves
  • Sand or Kitty Litter
  • An Ice Scraper
  • A Short Shovel
  • Additional Antifreeze
  • Snacks and Books

Food and water are essential, as you never know what might happen on the open road. For winter, make sure you include warm clothing items in case your car’s heater fails. Sand or kitty litter, along with a shovel, can prove themselves lifesavers if you get stuck in the snow.

After you prepare your car as much as possible, schedule a check-up with the talented mechanics at Express Auto Repair & Emissions. You’ll want to make sure you haven’t missed anything, including issues such as electrical repair, that only a professional can handle. For scheduled maintenance to help winterize a car in Schaumburg, IL, call 847-895-9131 today.