When weather turns cold, it’s not just rough on us. Snow, ice, and cool air can all do a number on our cars too.
Though you might not be able to stop Mother Nature from unleashing harsh weather this season, there are still several things you can do to make sure your car comes out of winter unscathed.
Look it over
Channel the first time you ever saw your car, and do a thorough inspection to identify any cracks, dents, or other obvious signs of wear and tear that could worsen under severe weather conditions. Depending on where you live, it’s a good idea to start this process in October or early November. If you do notice a crack in the windshield or peeling paint, be sure to have it repaired immediately.
Take care of the tires
Tires are one of if not the most important piece of the car to pay attention to before winter weather strikes. Your tires will carry you over ice and snow, so you’ll want to be sure they are in proper working condition.
If you live in an area with particularly rough winters, consider buying specific winter tires that handle well on icy roads. Tire pressure also tends to drop during winter, so routinely check your pressure and refill tires as necessary.
Repel road salt
Cities and townships may start salting the roads as early as October, depending on where you live. Road salt isn’t like regular table salt—it’s full of melting agents that, while working to remove ice from roadways, can also remove paint and wear surfaces of your vehicle. By applying a layer of wax to the bottom half of your car, including on the grille and wheel wells, you can prevent these small salt pebbles from staining and scratching.
Expect the unexpected
You should have an emergency kit in your vehicle for all seasons but especially in winter, when the reality of skidding off the road and being stuck in freezing conditions increases. Stock your kit with water, a flashlight, flares, a first-aid kit, warm clothing, a small bag of sand, an ice scraper, and nonperishable snacks to make sure you are well prepared.