How to Weatherize Your Vehicle for the Winter Months
Depending on where you live, driving in the winter can be brutal. Ice, snow, and sleet are a part of everyday winter life in Colorado especially. Driving in the winter can be dangerous, but if your vehicle is prepared, you’ll be better suited to take on the cold environment. Plus, preparedness, in this case, could mean fewer visits to the body shop this winter! Read on for our tips on how to weatherize your vehicle for the winter months.
Visit your trusted vehicle service center
It’s important to consider having your vehicle serviced for the winter conditions. They’ll look into your vehicle’s battery health, cooling system, brakes, and other internal necessities like belts, hoses, and spark plugs. By having your vehicle serviced for the winter, you could avoid a breakdown of your battery or potential freezing of your cooling system. Ask your service center to inspect your vehicle’s fluid levels and AWD/4WD system as well.
Make sure you check for:
- Dirty cabin air filter
- A worn-out thermostat
- Old battery
- Low fluid levels – oil, coolant, etc.
- Cracked belts or hoses
- Worn out brakes
Install winter tires and maintain tire pressure
The health of your tires is essential in the winter. If your tire tread is worn, you have less control over ice, snow, and even rain. Stopping distances will also be longer, which is one of the top causes of winter weather-related accidents. All-season tires might do the trick in less harsh conditions, but depending on where you’re driving, you might want to consider installing winter tires. These tires are made to resist tire hardening in the cold, which provides better traction than traditional or all-season tires.
In the winter, your tire pressure fluctuates more often as temperatures drop. Be sure to check your air pressure more regularly in the winter, and fill up as often as needed.
Install new wiper blades and keep washer fluid full
Old, worn wiper blades typically cause streaks and struggles in harsh winter environments. To be safe, we recommend that you change your wiper blades before winter, and consider installing winter blades. These blades are made with additional rubber to keep ice from building up. If you do install winter blades, be sure to change them out in the spring.
You do not want to be left in a snowstorm without washer fluid. What’s even worse? Being stuck in cold conditions with frozen washer fluid. Be sure to keep a few gallons of washer fluid with antifreeze in your vehicle. Before the winter months, if you’re unsure about your current washer fluid, add a bottle of washer fluid antifreeze to be safe.
Keep an emergency kit on-hand
You could be more prepared than ever this season and still run into issues. That’s why it’s important to keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. In your kit, be sure to include jumper cables, a first aid kit, blankets, gloves, hats, a tire pressure gauge, a tire inflator, a tire patch kit, a phone charger, a flashlight, a reflector kit, an ice scraper, sand, a shovel, road flares, drinking water, and snacks.
Wash your vehicle and keep the paint protected
Keeping your vehicle clean during the winter months can extend its exterior health! In the winter, roads get packed with dirt, slush, snow, and sand or salt. All of this gunk, especially combined, can damage the body of your vehicle, your tires, or even the undercarriage. Make sure to take your car through an automatic car wash every few weeks depending on how often you drive to keep it clean.
Alongside keeping your vehicle clean in the winter comes paint protection. Paint is known to scratch and chip due to the harsh winter road conditions. To avoid this, make sure to wash your car with a coat of spray wax. You can even consider coating the entire body of your vehicle with a clear paint protection film (PPF). PPF guards against the road contaminants in the winter, keeping the paint protected.
Our tips for how to weatherize your vehicle in the winter months should keep you and your vehicle protected. If you do run into a fender bender or other auto accident in the Colorado Front Range and beyond, give us a call at 303-449-4153 to schedule a free estimate.