The winter can be hard on you: dry skin, brittle hair and an increased risk of colds and the flu — but it is also hard on your vehicle! Cold temperatures make it difficult for engines to work properly, snow limits tire traction and salt causes rust and gravel pits on the exterior paint. It is a good idea to protect your car during cold months by winterizing your vehicle before the beginning of the season.

Consider these car-winterizing suggestions:

  • Switch to snow tires— Snow tires increase traction and reduce your chances of slipping on slick surfaces, creating a safer ride on winter roads.
  • Check your tire pressure— Cold temperatures cause tire air pressure to drop.
  • Test your battery— Extreme temperatures can cause your vehicle’s battery to operate at less than 50%. If your battery is over three years old, have it tested.
  • Check the antifreeze mixture— The ideal mixture of antifreeze and water in your radiator is 50:50.
  • Inspect your four-wheel-drivesystem— Check that your system engages and disengages properly and does not make any unusual noises when you start it.
  • Change your oil and check the viscositygrade — To reduce the risk of problems with your engine oil, place thinner oil in your engine before the cold weather season.
  • Have belts and hoses inspected
  • Examine wipers and refill wiper fluid
  • Place a roadside emergency supply kit in your car

Before the snow starts to fall, take the necessary steps to protect your car against the cold to ensure that it will last the entire season long!