When the temperature drops below freezing and snow blankets the roads, you and your car both face many challenges. By following these winter car care tips, you’ll avoid common problems. After all, nothing is worse than ending up stranded, or getting in an accident you easily could avoid with proper car maintenance.


Be Prepared

Speaking of maintenance, when fall hits, you should be addressing any unattended maintenance items for your car. This includes oil changes, belt replacements, etc. The harshness of winter can accelerate any issues, so taking care of them in the fall is the smart thing to do.


Most people forget to inspect their lights before winter hits. With the sun setting earlier, you’ll be driving in the dark more, so your lights need to be at peak performance or you won’t be able to see well. If any bulbs are burnt out, now is an excellent time to replace them. Also, if your headlight covers are fogged or yellow, have them refinished to restore the original clarity.


This is a good time to inspect your tires, or to have a professional shop check them over. Low tire tread reduces traction, even on good roads, let alone when snow and ice covers everything. If your tires are worn down too far, it’s a good time to get a new set, before you end up sliding off the road or into another car.


Properly Charged

The extremely cold winter temperatures are hard on car batteries. If yours is older, it could suddenly give out, leaving you stranded. Take your vehicle to a service center and have the battery tested to determine if it needs to be replaced. You should also connect it to a trickle charger once a month, ensuring its charge doesn’t drop too low over time.


Keep Things Clear

Ideally, you always have a garage or even a covered area to park your car. That might not always be the case, so snow or ice can accumulate on it. Before you get in and start driving, use a brush to clear off all loose snow. You should also have a scraper in your vehicle, so you can remove all ice from the windows. Also, don’t forget to clear off the headlights, fog lights and taillights, because those are critical for safety.


Your wiper blades are critical for seeing properly in storms, or just when other vehicles kick up snow or slush on the road. If yours are leaving streaks on the glass, try cleaning them with a soft cloth. If the problem continues, replace them. Worn wiper blades will make seeing in winter weather at best difficult, and at worst impossible.


Frequent Checkups

You need to be vigilant throughout the winter months, because your car is being put to the test in many ways. When you stop for fuel, pop the hood and inspect the different fluids to ensure they’re at the proper levels. The coolant and window washing fluid are especially important to watch, so pay close attention if their levels start dropping.


Visit our service department for help with these and other items to get your car ready for winter.