How to Prepare Your Car for Winter: 7 Tips
September 30, 2014
With fall here and winter just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about what you need to do to prepare your car for winter driving. By taking a little bit of time to prepare your car for winter now, you can:
- Minimize your chances of a car accident and keep your family safe for all of your upcoming holiday traveling
- Ensure you have the supplies and tools you need if you do end up getting stranded on the road this winter.
In this article we’ll highlight some essential tips that can help you prepare your car for winter. If you do end up getting hurt in a car accident this winter, you can turn to the Portland car accident lawyers at the Savage Law Firm for help getting the compensation you deserve.
Here’s What You Can Do to Prepare Your Car for Winter…
Tip 1 – Check your car’s fluids
This is an easy thing you can do (or can have done when you are getting other vehicle maintenance done) to prepare your car for winter. The specific fluids you need to check and refill include:
- Windshield wiper fluid
- Oil (this may involve a full oil change if necessary).
The point is that you want your car to have all of the fluids it may need while driving in winter conditions. So, check the levels of these fluids and replenish the fluid levels as necessary.
Tip 2 – Check your car’s heater and defroster
Your car’s heater and defroster are about to be used quite frequently with winter and freezing cold conditions almost here. Therefore, make sure these essential features of your vehicle work; if they don’t, get them fixed now so that they are all ready to go when the winter is finally here.
Tip 3 – Check your car’s brakes
Another critical component when it comes time to driving on icy, wet and snowy roads are your vehicle’s brakes. This means that your brakes should be in good condition in order to ensure safe winter driving. So, get your car’s brakes checked and replaced as needed. It could be invaluable if you or a family member ends up driving on really icy roads this winter.
Tip 4 – Rotate and align your tires
Just as important as your car’s brakes, your vehicle’s tires are your car’s connection to the road. This means that, when roads get icy, slick and difficult to traverse in the winter, having good tires to minimize the possibility of skidding and losing control of your vehicle will be critical. Therefore:
- If your tires are still relatively new and have sufficient tread, get them rotated and aligned so they are good to go for safe winter driving.
- Replace your vehicle’s tires if it’s been about 5 or so years since you have gotten new tires for your vehicle.
Here, it’s important to point out that, when you are taking the time to complete this tip on how to prepare your car for winter, you should also take the time to check – and possibly replace – your vehicle’s spare tire. If you do end up blowing out a tire while driving this winter, having an available spare that’s in good condition can help you get back on the road as soon as possible.
Tip 5 – Check your car’s battery and electrical system
Electrical problems with a vehicle can be frustrating and devastating, as they can leave a car inoperable. To avoid such problems that could leave you and your family stranded on the road in the dead of winter, make sure that your car’s:
- Battery is working well. If not or if it’s on its way out, replace it now so you don’t forget to do so before it ends up dying on you.
- Electrical system is in good working order.
Tip 6 – Create a winter safety kit for all of your cars
This is an easy thing you can do that can save you significant headaches in the future if you end up having car problems during winter. To prepare your car for winter with this tip, put the winter safety kit in a plastic storage bin, and keep it in your vehicle’s truck. This kit should include the following types of items:
- Batteries, a car cellphone charger and possibly even a throwaway cellphone so you can contact others for help if your vehicle has a serious problem you can’t fix on your own
- Jumper cables, a screwdriver and other items that can help you make smaller, quick fixes to your vehicle
- Blankets, an extra jacket and gloves to keep you warm if you have to wait in cold conditions for your car to get towed (or for any help to come)
- Flares, water and nonperishable food items.
You may even add other items like a radio or magazines for kids, depending on who you typically ride in the car with. As you prepare this winter safety kit, consider doing so for every vehicle your family members drive.
Tip 7 – Review techniques for driving on icy roads
Regardless of whether you have driven in icy or snowy conditions in the past, take a little bit of time to review the techniques for driving when cars skid. Make sure you know how to properly handle your vehicle, and take the time to teach any new drivers in your family if this is their first winter driving.
Portland Car Accident Lawyers at the Savage Law Firm
Have you been hurt in a car accident or any type of traffic accident? If so, it’s time to contact the experienced Portland car accident lawyers at the Savage Law Firm. We realize how devastating traffic accidents can be – that’s why our lawyers are here to aggressively defend injured people’s rights to both justice and compensation.
While this means that our Portland car accident lawyers will work diligently to help our clients tell their stories in court, it also means that our attorneys and dedicated staff will vigorously stand up to insurers and others outside of the courtroom to ensure that our clients are able to obtain the settlements they deserve.
To learn more about what we can do for you, call us at 503-222-0200 (in Portland) or at 206-957-7272 (in Seattle). You can also email us using the form on this page.
We represent clients in communities in both Oregon and Washington from our offices in Portland and Seattle.