4 Ways to Prep Your Car for Winter Driving Conditions

Winter driving conditions mean a certain amount of preparation on your part. Here are 4 things you absolutely want to do to prepare your vehicle and yourself for winter driving.

1. Prep your coolant
Any major temperature change means that you need to check your coolant levels and system. Normal coolant to water ratio is 50/50, but for winter add a little more coolant for a 60/40 ratio. Also, check your radiator and hoses for leaks. Vast temp changes affect the integrity of your hoses, and you don’t want to run out of coolant and get stuck on the side of the road in the middle of winter!

2. Check your tires
This is an obvious maintenance task for winter driving conditions. You want to check your tire pressure and traction. For snowy roads, you want to be sure to have at the very least 5/32” of traction. If you see a lot of snow and ice, prep your vehicle with snow tires. Finally, check the PSI regularly. 10 degrees of temp change can cause your tire pressure to gain or lose 1 pound of pressure.

3. Check your brakes
This is also an obvious winter maintenance task, but extremely important. Good brakes can literally save your life. Check your brake fluid first to make sure you don’t have any leaks. If the fluid is dark in color, you absolutely need a professional to flush and replace your brake fluid. If you hearing scraping or sqealing when you brake, it’s time for new pads. In fact, you’re over due! Don’t hesitate to get new brakes immediately.

4. Stock your car
Finally, when preparing for winter driving you’ll want to stock up. You never know what can happen on the road and there are ways to prepare yourself for the unexpected. Keep a few extra blankets, water, non-perishable food items, a flashlight, extra batteries, jumper cables and an ice scraper in your vehicle at all times. This is the very least amount of preparedness you will need. Check our Vehicle Emergency Kit blog for a full list.