winter car care tips

How to Prepare Your Car for Winter Weather

Winter is here and with it comes conditions that can make both driving and parking a challenge. Whether you live in a frozen tundra or somewhere winters tend to be mild, there are precautions anyone can take to ensure your car stays in good shape when the temperature drops. We’ve rounded up the best ways to winter-proof your vehicle and navigate cold-weather driving with ease.

1. Prep

The best way to weather any storm is by being prepared. A good de-icing spray will help melt away ice on your windshield and car handles. You can also try a snow and ice cover on your windshield to save time scraping in the morning!

It’s also smart to salt your walkways and area around your vehicle, ensuring you won’t slip and you can easily get your car out of the snow. 

Another trick is to fill up your car at least halfway full with gas before a storm. This is important in the event you need to pull over so you can keep your car on and warm. Plus, who wants to wait at the gas pump when it’s snowing? While you’re at the gas station, check your tire pressure and fill them up if they’re low. Air pressure in a tire decreases 1-2 pounds for every 10 degrees of temperature change.

Did you know many auto repair shops and auto care stores will perform free car battery checks? Make sure you get yours tested before winter and avoid coming back to a dead battery in the dead of winter.

2. Pack

Before a winter storm hits, make sure you have a comprehensive winter storm kit in your car ready to go! Whether you purchase one in stores or online, or opt to put your own together, these are the items we recommend including:

  • Battery powered radio
  • Blankets
  • Booster cable
  • Candles
  • Car phone charger
  • Extra socks and gloves
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Hand warmers
  • Matches or a lighter
  • Reflectors or road flares to make your car more visible
  • Road map, in case your electronics stop working
  • Road salt and tire chains in case you need extra traction
  • Snacks that will stay good for a long time, like bars, trail mix, and dried fruit
  • Water bottles
  • Windshield scraper

3. Park

Whether you’re new to the city or a long-time resident, snow removal schedules can be complicated and hard to remember.  Make sure you check all marked street signs and policies for when snow plows come through after a storm. Set an alarm to remember to move your vehicle from a tow zone before snowfall to avoid getting ticketed or towed. Our best winter car care tip? Check out SpotHero to find a covered parking garage near your place and avoid the snow, ice, and tickets altogether!