The winter months can be tough on vehicles. Car batteries drain faster in the cold. Cars can get bogged down in slush, sleet, and snow. Not to mention how dirty your car gets after driving around with snow and dirt getting kicked up off the road. Preparing your car for winter doesn’t have to be hard, it can be a very easy process that keeps you driving and on the road. Throw on your best, and by best I mean ugliest Christmas sweater, and let’s go over some basics for winter driving. A basic checklist for inspection of your car for winter is as follows:

Check Your Tires

Take a good look at your tires. Are they looking a bit worn down or balding? A tire without a proper tread to it will be slipping all over the road when it snows or even rains. While you might be able to get away with it, so to speak, in the summer, the winter months are going to keep you driving at 5mph until it’s warm again. Once you’ve checked the tread, make sure the tires get rotated at your next oil change to keep wear and tear even.

Check Tire Pressure

If your tires aren’t filled up there could be a problem. Even slightly deflated tires can cause an issue on winter roads. 

Chains/Snow Tires

Living in Utah, the snow season brings many people up the canyons for skiing and other snowsports. Before you go, check canyon conditions to see if you might need snow tires more aptly suited to winter conditions. Having a set of tire chains is invaluable if you’re caught in a storm or if road conditions become icy in the canyon or otherwise.

Oil Change and Fill Up Antifreeze

This one is simple. Get a regular oil change to keep your car well lubricated during the cold season. As well as filling up on antifreeze. Antifreeze is engine coolant and it mixes with water to keep your engine from freezing in cold weather and overheating in hot weather. Definitely something to check before the first big snow of the season.

Make Sure Your Heater Works

One of the worst things in the world is a broken heater when it’s cold out. If you don’t want to be bundling up in several extra layers just to be in the car, double check your heater. Get it inspected and make sure before it gets too cold that it is in proper working order.

Battery

Dead battery. Dead car. The cold weather is especially unforgiving to batteries, even more so in some hybrid vehicles. If you don’t want to have to replace your battery so you’re not constantly asking people for a jump start while trying to stay warm, double-check that battery. 

There it is! Plain and simple. Anything more specific, ask your technician for details. As far as some handy items to keep in the car goes, here’s a list of some useful equipment to keep in the car when it gets chilly outside. 

  1. Jumper Cables
  2. First aid kit
  3. Bag of sand or ice salt
  4. Extra layers of clothing or blankets
  5. Ice scraper
  6. Portable phone battery/charger
  7. A shovel
  8. Flashlight

All of these items will come in handy at one point or another, most of which you probably already have. Just keeping them in the car during the winter can help you to always have them when you need them so you never have to be in a bind when it’s freezing outside. Check-in at the new location of the Kearns Master Muffler for help with all your driving needs.