It’s nearly time for winter break, and you’re about to head back home for the holidays. As the temperatures get colder, you’ll want to know how to prepare your car for winter. Following these tips will help you make a safe and uneventful trip back home and, when the time comes, back to school again.
Keep Emergency Supplies in Your Car
In the event that you have car troubles or an emergency this winter, having a few winter emergency supplies in the trunk of your car will pay off. Some good items to have include a flashlight, a blanket, a small shovel, some sand, an ice scraper, some snacks and bottled water, and some warm clothes.
Check Your Tires
Some emergencies are unavoidable, but a good way to minimize the chance of an emergency is to perform a general check of all the parts of your car to make sure they’re ready for the winter weather. Knowing how to check your tires is particularly important, since they give you traction on the winter ice and snow. Check the tread of your tires for wear, check your tire pressure, and, if necessary, replace your tires with winter tires.
Check Your Oil and Antifreeze
Getting your car’s oil changed is a normal part of car ownership, but it’s especially important to check your oil before winter to avoid any car problems during the cold months. Antifreeze is essential during the winter because it keeps your engine from freezing—a frozen engine is the last thing you want!
Check Your Battery
The winter months put more strain on car batteries than the other months of the year. Before winter hits, make sure to test your car’s battery and, if possible, have a professional check it out.
Check Your Brakes
Working brakes are absolutely essential during the winter months. Without functional brakes, your chances of getting into an accident due to the icy, slippery driving conditions increase. Get your brakes checked out, especially if you notice that they’ve been underperforming.
Switch Out Fluids for Winter Varieties
In winter, your car gets much dirtier, and its fluids are at a higher risk of freezing. For this reason, it’s a good idea to change out your wiper fluid, brake fluid, and oil for winter formulas. This will avert any crises that could come with parts of your car becoming frozen.
Now that you’ve learned how to prepare your car for winter, take your car to get checked out by a professional. Even if you can’t get to a pro this year, be sure to make the appropriate changes for winter and perform a general check of your car yourself. Stay safe this winter, and enjoy your winter break!