Winter Car Maintenance: Tips to Prep Your Car for Frigid Temps

Oh, if buying your car a pumpkin spice latte was all you had to do. Here's the list, and when you're done, you've earned your latte!

Winter Prep

We all know it is important to bundle up when the temperature drops below freezing, but what about winter prep for our vehicles?

During a bad winter storm I learned a few things the hard, or expensive way. I left my windshield wipers on, but turned the motor off on my 2007 Chevrolet Silverado when I parked it. A few days later when I sent my boys out to start my truck and clean the snow off, they did not know the wipers were on. The wipers had frozen solid to my car under about a foot of snow; this resulted in a burned up wiper motor and a hefty repair bill.

While my boyfriend, David, is calm and cool about all my “mistakes,” he gave me a list of things that I need to do, to be sure my vehicle is prepared for zero temperatures and a foot of snow.

  • Always turn your windshield wipers off when leaving the car. Start this good habit now, so you don’t leave them on and it mess up your vehicle.
  • Always check your tires before leaving. The change of temperature can cause the tire to lose pressure and go flat.
  • When having your car serviced have the technician check all the fluids, especially your anti-freeze.
  • Make sure you have winter washer fluid (similar to anti-freeze) during the winter to prevent water from freezing on your windshield
  • Always start your car daily when the temperatures are extremely cold. Lines, pipes, and parts tend to freeze up; starting it daily will help prevent this.
  • Never pour warm or hot water on your windshield when it is extremely cold or covered in ice; this could result in a broken windshield.
  • Be aware of where you park your vehicle; trees, awnings, and other light structures can get heavy with ice or snow and collapse.
  • If you must travel during winter weather check with your state’s highway department for current road conditions.

Your safety is always important especially when you are behind the wheel of a car, but remember if you do not properly care for your vehicle it will not be safe to operate.

Becky Davenport lives in rural Missouri. She has a love for the outdoors, traveling, photography, and keeping her family... More about Becky Davenport