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car maintenance tips winter

Winter Car Maintenance: Top 6 Preps for Cold-Weather Driving

Winter car maintenance tips: Winter is tough on cars and trucks. If you live in San Diego, you don’t have to worry about preparing for cold weather, but the rest of us have to get our cars ready. Whether you’re a Uber driver, mom-taxi, commuter, or traveler, here’s our list of the top ways to prepare your car for Winter driving:

Top 6 Winter Preps for Your Car:

1. Change your Oil

Changing your oil might be the most important way to prepare your car for Winter. Be sure to use synthetic or conventional multi-grade viscosity oil for cold-weather driving.

Tip: Local garages often have coupons online for oil changes. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty and performing an oil change yourself, top stores like Advance Auto have oil change specials saving you big on oil and filter bundles at their local store locations.

2. Test Your Battery

Winter weather puts car batteries to the test. Do you know how long your battery should last? A lot of people who bought off-brand batteries or tried to squeeze too many years of use out of their old batteries find out the hard way that their battery wasn’t ready for winter.

Tip: Get your car battery tested for free in the Fall at top stores like Advance Auto (free services) and AutoZone. If you need a new one, use one of our coupons for AutoZone or Advance Auto to save up to 30% on a new battery. These stores should also install your new battery for free.

3. Change Your Windshield Wipers

winter car preparation tips

Have you ever realized during the season’s first snow storm that your wipers are shot? It’s a terrible feeling to hear them squeaking while you crane your neck, hunched-over squinting out the clear part of the windshield at the snow and slush. Free wiper installation is another free service of top automotive stores Advanced Auto, AutoZone, and Pep Boys.

Tip: Be sure that your windshield wiper fluid is rated for extremely cold temperatures. That really cheap blue wiper fluid that most people use is fine most of the time, but when temperatures drop below freezing, it actually can freeze solid in your lines, rendering your wipers useless.

*Tip: Learn how to change your windshield wipers

4. Check Your Antifreeze

The radiator in your car cools your engine and needs antifreeze to work. If necessary, you should add more antifreeze or perform a flush and fill. Here’s how to check your antifreeze level.

*Related: Tax tips for Uber & Lyft drivers

5. Perform an Engine Tune-Up

Have a technician at a trusted local garage or auto shop evaluate the condition of your spark plugs to ensure that your engine is going to fire up and perform on cold Winter days.

Tip: Tune ups can be expensive! I recommend checking coupons for local garages that might be in Valpak, SpinSaver, Groupon, or other local mailings and websites. If you find a good one, check online reviews to make sure it’s a trusted location that customers are happy with.

6. Prepare a Winter Survival Kit

“It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.”

You should always have a survival kit in your car for the unexpected. Your survival kit should include:

  • A flashlight
  • Blankets
  • Road flares
  • Jumper cables
  • First Aid Kit
  • A roll of duct tape (No, not to keep the kids quiet!) 

Also, sometimes you can’t prevent the unexpected, so know how to jumpstart a car. For more tips, read our article on how to prepare your own emergency survival kit for your car.


Winter Is Tough on Cars & Trucks

Winter cold and salt can be a nightmare for your car. If you perform the aforementioned maintenance tips, you’ll be prepared for the Winter months.