January 8th, 2015

How to Keep Your Car in Tip Top Shape During the Winter

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How to Keep Your Car in Tip Top Shape During the Winter Groovy Green Livin

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and I am receiving compensation. As always, all opinions are my own.

It’s official. Winter has arrived in Boston. Today I’m in my office with a fire blazing, a hot cup of tea and multiple layers of clothing. You would think having grown up in Wisconsin the cold would be no big deal, but I can’t shake the chill.

This morning the cold almost got the best of my car. When I tried to start it the ignition didn’t turn over immediately. After a few “coughs” it finally started.

Thankfully there are a few simple tips to make sure your car is ready for the winter months ahead.

  1. A clean car is your first line of defense against winter.  While the winter season typically takes a toll on your car, proper maintenance can go a long way to preserving your investment.   Getting a new wash and a fresh coat of wax before the temperature starts to fluctuate can be your first line of defense against winter elements like ice, salt, sand and slush. Vehicular corrosion also occurs most quickly when temperatures rise and then fall below freezing.  Try to find a WaterSavers® Car Wash in your area. These car washes typically use only 40 gallons (151.5 liters) or less of fresh water per car wash.
  1. Rotate your tires. Most people know they should get their oil changed every 3,000 miles, but many forget their tires need maintenance as well. Tires should be rotated before winter and then again every 6,000 miles.
  1. Add some winter weight to your oil. Changing your oil and filter is especially important during the winter. Drivers who live in a colder climate should consider changing to heavier, winter-weight oil during the winter months. 
  1. Take care of your wiper blades. Your windshield wiper blades are your first line of defense when the snow starts to fly. Make sure your wiper blades are in good, working order and replace them if you have doubts. It’s better to make this change now instead of finding out your blades aren’t working when you really need them. 
  1. Take your car in for a tune-up. Any noises, pings or sluggish starts you currently notice will only intensify as the temperature drops. It’s best to get your vehicle in for a tune-up as soon as possible to get any issues addressed. 
  1. Give your steering some power. Check your powering steering fluid each month, and make sure the car is warmed up before you do so. If you find the level is low, look for leaks in the hoses or pump. Low power steering fluid will make your car more difficult to steer, which is something you’ll want to avoid as the roads get slick. 
  1. Protect yourself from carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide leaks are dangerous at any time, but they are especially deadly during the winter when you will be driving your vehicle with the windows closed. Have your exhaust system checked to make sure no leak exists. 
  1. Apply the brakes. Besides the seatbelt, your car’s brakes are its most important safety feature. This is especially true in the winter when slippery conditions can make stopping difficult. Before the first snow fall, bring your car to an experienced mechanic to verify that your brakes are ready for the season.

How do prepare your car for the winter?

photo credit: PommeGranny via photopin cc

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by  International Car Wash Association (ICA). All opinions are my own. For more information on sponsored posts, read here.

18 Responses to “How to Keep Your Car in Tip Top Shape During the Winter”

  1. Sometimes I think my car gets spoiled by being garage kept because when it sits out overnight somewhere in the cold, it doesn’t seem happy about starting the next day. Good tips!
    Tamara @ We3Travel recently posted..Travel Product Review: Sol Republic Tracks Air Wireless HeadphonesMy Profile

  2. I would add making sure your tires are inflated. I say this as my low tire pressure light kicked on with the frigid temperatures yesterday.
    Emily at Random Recycling recently posted..The Most Surprising Organizing Book You Will Ever ReadMy Profile

  3. This couldn’t be more timely for us! We woke up to 2* temperature today and I think my car is the dirtiest it’s ever been for this cold weather. I’ll be taking my car in for an oil change next week and will definitely ask about the brakes. Thanks for the tips!
    Kristina recently posted..3 ways to connect with your kids individuallyMy Profile

  4. These are great tips! We don’t live where it’s supposed to get cold, and yet here we are at 12 degrees today! I need to check and make sure all of our fluids are up to par….and actually, I think we need an oil change!
    Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? recently posted..14 Awesome Kid Birthday Party ThemesMy Profile

  5. All fantastic reminders, especially for those like me who live in arctic tundras come winter.

  6. I agree that you should get a tune-up taken care of before winter sets in. I’ve had a few friends that ignored some pretty minor concerns, and ended up with some pretty major problems before spring came around. It’s pretty easy to get those issues checked out and fixed early on. You just have to stay on top of it and not leave it to get any worse.

  7. The tips that I have been looking for! I have so much trouble with my car during winter. Felt so helpless. Now I know what I need to do. Thanks for sharing this!

  8. It seems like I always forget about rotating my tires during the winter for some reason, but have no problem remembering in the warmer months! Thanks for sharing so many great tips. It’s especially helpful to read through these since the weather is starting to change!

  9. These are super helpful tips! It’s so important to take car of your car…especially in the middle of winter.

  10. I’ve lived in very cold areas, and not as cold areas, and I firmly believe that no matter where you live it’s a good idea to winter-ize your car. Especially the brakes! Accidents are common enough. Might as well do your best to prevent them, that’s what I say! I’d never thought to check the exhaust system for leaks, though; I’ll put that on the list. Thanks for the suggestions – I hope that all your readers take them to heart!

  11. I actually recommend rotating tires every 4,000 miles. Most tire stores will gladly do a free tire check. They’ll check the tire pressure, look for problems with uneven tread wear, and it’s not very expensive to have them balanced and rotated. We actually buy maintenance and insurance certificates on our tires and some places will include unlimited tire maintenance with that.

  12. It’s always important to maintain your car especially during rough times like winter. Your tips are perfect reminders and I must also admit that I haven’t been keen on the carbon monoxide issue, which from now on, I will keep in mind. Thanks a lot for the share.


  13. I agree that you should care for your wiper blades. I think if they’re not working well, your safety goes way down. Snow and ice can create rather dangerous blind spots on your windshield.

  14. I honestly think that brakes are the most important safety feature in a car. While seatbelts are important, brakes are your first line of defense against running into another car or obstacle. Making sure that your brakes are in good repair, especially during the winter time, is extremely important. Thanks for the article.

  15. I feel like brakes are even more important during winter months when there is potential to slide on snow and ice. That’s why I’m glad you mentioned brake care for winter months. You are so right that they are the most important safety feature besides the seatbelt!

  16. You have some great tips here for making sure your car is Winter ready. I do most of these, but I have never checked the brakes before Winter before. You’re right, they are one of the most important safety feature, so I need to do better with that.

  17. Great advice! Making sure your car has a fresh wax before the drop in temperature is a great way to make sure you do not get caught in an icy storm. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Does waxing your car protect your paint job?

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About Lori

Hi! I’m Lori, a recovering attorney, writer, and mom to three boys. Join me as I uncover and share the latest info on healthy living. Learn more.

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