The winter season can bring along a lot of joy to the Glenview area with holiday celebrations, magical light displays, and hot cocoa — but it also brings some new responsibilities for your car. You should winterize your car before the temperatures drop and snow begins to fall to better avoid flat tires, dead batteries, warning lights, and potential accidents.
7 Steps to Winterize a Car
- Prepare a winter emergency car kit: While no one wants to get stuck on the side of the road on their way to Chicago, you should still be prepared. In the event that you do get stranded, you’ll want to have a winter emergency car kit. This can include warm blankets, extra gloves and hats, changes of clothing, flashlights, non-perishable snack good, a battery-operated phone charger, batteries, a radio, an ice scraper, road flares, and cat litter or sand if you can’t get any tire traction.
- Check your heat: Driving around without heat in the middle of winter isn’t fun for anyone. It’s helpful to have your heating system inspected to ensure it’s in proper working order and that it blows hot air before you need it.
- Check your tires: The cold weather can affect tires and tire pressure, it’s important important to check them regularly. Tires need to be properly inflated at all times. You can check this at home with a gauge. You also need to check your tire treads, and if they’re too low, you should replace them for increased traction in snow and ice.
- Check wiper blades and fluid: When you winterize your car, both the wiper blades and wiper fluid need to be checked. If the wipers aren’t successfully clearing your windshield, you should have them replaced. The wiper fluid should be filled up regularly, and you might want to use a wiper fluid made for winter — it can help loosen snow and ice, and it won’t freeze.
- Check your coolant: While you’re checking fluids, you can check the coolant levels. This is also a good time to replace your coolant if you are unsure of its concentration — the last thing you want is poorly mixed coolant to freeze in the winter. You can do this yourself or schedule a service appointment at our service center in Mt. Prospect.
- Check the car battery: No one wants to end up stranded with a dead battery. Make sure that doesn’t happen this winter and check your battery to see if there’s any corrosion or signs of wear. You can also have a service professional run a battery test to see if you need a new one.
- Change the oil: You should be getting oil changes at regular intervals, but if you haven’t gotten one recently, now is the time. Oil thickens up when it gets cold, which makes it harder for the engine to use the oil properly. When you change your oil, opt for a winter-specific kind.