How to Winterize Your Vehicle

With the temperatures starting to drop here in Richmond, VA, and the winter on its way, it is time to start thinking about winterizing your vehicle. The harsh freezing cold temperatures that the winter months bring can take a toll on your vehicle, and getting ahead of the cold by preparing your vehicle beforehand can save you the stress and cost related to finding yourself in a breakdown situation in the cold.

What does it mean to winterize your vehicle? Essentially, there are certain measures that you should take as a vehicle owner which will help your vehicle better handle the freezing temperatures ahead. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you will need a handful of services or repairs - it just means that you may need to have some inspections performed and take care of any needed services now before they affect your vehicle in the winter.

Here are ways that you can winterize your vehicle:

  • Have your car battery tested for charge and cleaned if necessary. The winter weather can reduce your battery’s charge, so having it tested will give you an idea of whether or not your battery will be reliable throughout the winter. It is also important to make sure that the connections are clean and free of corrosion.
  • Make sure that your engine oil is changed on time and that your other fluids, such as brake fluid, coolant, and power steering fluid are inspected. Any dirty filters should be changed and dirty or low oil should be replaced or topped-off.
  • Your tires should have accurate tread and be filled up to the proper air pressure. If your tires are low on tread, they should be replaced before driving in wet or freezing weather.
  • Brakes should also be inspected to ensure that all parts are working properly and that your brake pads are good.
  • Inspect all exterior lights for any faulty or dim lights. This will be important for visibility throughout the winter.
  • Be sure that your windshield wipers are in good condition. Wipers typically should be replaced 1-2 times a year, and will be important in the wet weather or snow.
  • Have your vehicle’s defroster and heater inspected for working condition. Driving without a working defroster can be dangerous in the extreme cold, as it is needed to see the road clearly. The heater will also be necessary to keep your warm in the car.
  • Lastly, we recommend stocking a winter emergency kit in your car with an ice scraper, jumper cables, flashlight, flares, blanket, extra clothes, candles/matches, bottled water, dry food snacks and a phone charger.

We know that driving in the winter can be rough, but being proactive and winterizing your vehicle before the freezing temperatures hit can make a huge difference in your comfort and safety on the road. If your vehicle needs any of the inspections or services listed above, don’t hesitate to give us a call here at our Richmond auto repair shop, Autotech. We will be happy to help you winterize your vehicle and ensure that your car will be safe and reliable on the road!