Preparing your vehicle for winter doesn't take much effort or expense, but the benefits can be significant. In the video below, I'll walk you through the most important winter vehicle safety tips - these are things anyone who owns a vehicle or drives in winter weather should be aware of. Take a moment to watch these tips, and if you'd like, share it with someone you want to be kept safe this winter.
Video: Preparing Your Vehicle for Winter
Winter Vehicle Safety Tip #1: Tires
During cold weather, it's common to find your tire pressure much lower than you left it. This is because the colder weather causes the tire pressure to lower. If your tire pressure sensor light keeps coming on, it's a good idea to fill your tires an additional two or three PSI (pounds per square inch) beyond the recommended pressure to protect against low tire pressure during cold weather.
Ensuring your vehicle's tires have enough tread to get you through winter is another essential part of preparing your vehicle for winter. The better your tire treads, the more in control you'll be driving on snow, slush, and ice. Be sure to have the depth and consistency of your tire treads checked, and replace them if needed.
Winter Vehicle Safety Tip #2: Coolant
In the upper midwest, and especially here in central Minnesota, your vehicle's coolant should be good for temperatures as cold as 25-35 degrees below zero. If your coolant is only good for up to 10 degrees below zero, we recommend flushing that fluid out and replacing it with coolant that will work throughout the winter months. If your coolant cannot withstand cold enough temperatures, this can cause issues, like heat retention and engine damage.
Winter Vehicle Safety Tip #3: Battery Testing
It's ideal to perform battery testing at least two-three times per year, but if you only test your vehicle's battery once a year, please do it during your winter preparations. If your battery is already weakened, cold weather can definitely reduce your battery's effectiveness.
If you're unsure of how to test your battery or do not have access to the necessary equipment, I advise bringing your vehicle into a qualified auto technician to perform the testing.
Winter Vehicle Safety Tip #4: Wiper Blades and Washer Fluid
Different washer fluids are put into vehicles during summer and winter. And if left unchanged, the washer fluid leftover from summer will freeze. Avoid the hassle of not being able to use your washer fluid when you need it by changing yours out before the cold weather sets in. You'll want washer fluid capable of withstanding temperatures of 10-15 degrees below zero.
Winter Vehicle SafetyTip #5: Safety Pack or Dry Bag
A big part of preparing my vehicle for winter is packing a dry bag, which I keep in my vehicle all winter long. In my dry bag, I pack a thermal shirt, extra pants, gloves, hat, extra socks, boots, snow jacket and snow pants. These materials can be a lifesaver if I end up stranded, or if I happen upon someone who's stuck in the snow. Additional tips for packing your winter vehicle safety kit can be found here.
Preparing Your Vehicle for Winter with Miller Auto & Marine
Taking the steps to properly prepare your vehicle for winter is a wise way to invest a little time during fall or early winter. Just by following the tips outlined in the video, you can prepare your vehicle, yourself, and your loved ones for the winter weather ahead. If you need any help preparing your vehicle for winter, please consider Miller Auto & Marine. We have talented, experienced auto technicians who are invested in keeping the roads safe year-round, and especially during the winter.