How Do I Prepare My Car for Winter?

Posted on: December 7, 2021

Winter is not the time to find yourself on the side of the road having car trouble. However, extreme cold and other factors common in winter make the season a prime time for foreseeable vehicle problems and preventable car accidents. Proper car maintenance and simple cold-weather preparation can help you ensure that your vehicle is ready for the time of year that can be hardest on automobiles.

Below is a list of the car parts and issues that are most likely to be affected by the low temperatures and other unfavorable conditions that are an unavoidable part of winter driving.


Good tires are vital at all times of the year to provide drivers with road grip that allows them to control their vehicles and brake effectively. Worn or poorly inflated tires can cause serious problems. Tire pressure is affected by temperature. When the temperature drops, air pressure does too. Low air pressure in your tires can affect gas mileage and cause undue wear on your tires, but more immediately it can affect your ability to retain driving control.

Before the cold sets in, you should be sure your tires are in good shape. To do your own assessment, check the treads to be sure they are not worn down. Uneven wear may be a sign of an issue with your cars alignment. Severe wear can cause a tire blow-out. Therefore, if you see anything of concern, you should get your cars tires checked out by a professional.

An auto mechanic or tire shop worker can easily evaluate your tires. They may recommend getting new tires, or possibly just rotating the tires you have to ensure that those with the best grip are in the back. If new tires are needed, you might consider purchasing tires that are built specifically to better handle winter conditions such as ice, snow, and slippery slush.


Another car part that must be in good shape to provide safe driving in winter is the cars brakes. Wet weather and road salt can damage the brakes and cause rusting or other damage. However, you should get your brakes checked before the winter conditions become an issue, as efficiently working brakes are crucial to driving safety.


Cold winter weather is not good for batteries. Cold weather can stress the battery, and moisture can cause damaging corrosion to the terminals or connecting wires. You should get your battery tested to ensure it is in good condition before the season starts. The last thing you want is to be stranded in the cold because your battery gave out.


Freezing temperatures can affect your cars fluids. You should ensure that your brake fluid and windshield wiper solution are formulated for winter temperatures. Gas is an obviously essential fluid for driving. It is smart to keep your vehicles gas tank at least halfway full in winter to reduce the chances of running out of gas in the freezing cold or during a dangerous winter storm.

Another advantage of a full tank of gas is that it can prevent problems such as fuel lines becoming frozen or moisture in a nearly empty tank from freezing or causing the fuel to become diluted.

Wiper Blades

Visibility can be dangerously compromised in winter, especially when rain, snow, ice, and spray from the road get onto your windshield. A good set of wiper blades can ensure that you are able to brush those obstructions aside to give yourself a clear view of the road ahead. Installing new wiper blades is an easy and inexpensive way to ensure that your car is prepared to take care of such problems when they inevitably arise.

Winter Preparedness Kit

Finally, your car should be stocked with a few items that may make a huge difference in an emergency. Winter necessities for your car include a sturdy ice scraper and handled brush to remove ice and snow from your car for safe driving. Besides just scraping ice from your windshield and windows, you must also remove built-up snow from your cars roof, hood, and trunk so that it does not slide off while you are driving and endanger other road users. It is the law in New Jersey

An emergency kit will ensure that you have certain supplies on hand in case you become stranded or become involved in an accident. Road flairs, a small toolbox, and a flashlight with batteries are good all year around, but winter weather might require a blanket, a good pair of winter gloves, a snow shovel, and perhaps a bag of road salt or kitty litter to use to create traction with the road if you get stuck. It is a good idea to pack drinking water and some snacks too, along with a first aid kit.

Additional emergency preparedness advice includes the suggestions to charge your cell phone if you will be traveling in inclement weather and to let someone know your travel plans, including when and where you will be driving and when you are expected to arrive.

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