Preparing your car for cold weather can be a great way to ensure less troubles as the temperatures get colder and colder.  For many of us, our car sits outside for some portion, if not all, of the day.  Vehicles are built to work in cold temperatures, however preventative maintenance can mitigate potential issues that could arise.  Central Insurance details seven ways you can prepare your vehicle as the temperatures keep dropping.

  1. Tire pressure.The air pressure in your tires decreases about 1 psi for every 10 degree drop in temperature. By keeping the tires properly inflated, you’ll not only maintain good fuel mileage, but will prevent under-inflation which can lead to tire failure and a potential accident.
  2. Belts and hoses.Colder temperatures can weaken the rubber from which these parts are made. By checking the integrity of the belts and hoses and replacing them prior to their failure, you’ll help keep yourself from being stranded on the side of the road waiting on the tow truck.
  3. Wipers and wiper fluid.Be sure to fill your windshield wiper fluid tank with anti-freezing wiper fluid. Anti-freezing fluid paired with new wiper blades will allow you to maintain better visibility at all times of the year but especially when ice and road salt or debris can accumulate on your windshield and impair your visibility.
  4. Engine coolant.Check your coolant to ensure it is at the right level in order to prevent costly engine repairs. Coolant not only prevents overheating in the summer and freezing in the winter, but it also consists of anti-corrosive properties which prevents the accumulation of rust in the engine.
  5. Engine oil.Check to make sure it’s at the appropriate level and you have the right oil viscosity in the engine designed for colder temperatures. The colder the outside temperatures and the thicker the oil, the slower it flows. This can lead to premature damage due to increased friction when starting your engine.
  6. Battery.Extremely cold temperatures can kill a car battery about as easily as with extreme heat. The older a battery, the more susceptible it is to surrendering to cold temperatures. Check the age of the battery. If it’s close to or over five years old, consider replacing it. This will likely save you a major inconvenience as batteries typically fail at the worst possible time.
  7. Emergency kit.Consider creating an emergency kit consisting of jumper cables, flashlight, road flare, basic tools, and a thermal blanket. These items can help rescue you in the event that trouble with your vehicle occurs.