Ideally, it’s best to get you vehicle ready for winter BEFORE snow flurries begin. But if you’re like most people, concerns about getting your car ready for winter are most likely to hit right about the time the first snow flies.
Winterizing your vehicle is a proactive step that helps keep you, your car, and your passengers safe during the winter driving months, the most dangerous time of the year to drive. Sadly, according to The Car Care Council, some 70% of drivers do not winterize their vehicle which leads to increased risk of accidents or costly damage.
Here is a checklist to use to help get your car ready for winter.
Vehicle Winterization Checklist
- Brake Inspection
- Tire Pressure & Tread Check
- Tire Tread Check
- Antifreeze Check
- Low Viscosity Motor Oil
- Battery Inspection
- Wiper System Inspection and Adjustment
Here is more information on each.
Brakes are vitally important in all types of weather, but the safety and performance of your brakes is especially important in the winter months. Bring your vehicle to Roemer’s Tire Factory and we will make sure your brakes are in top condition before you need them. We will inspect all the braking elements and can make any necessary repairs to ensure that your ABS is operating correctly before you hit those treacherous patches of ice.
Tires are responsible for your traction and how your vehicle handles. Your tires are at the crux of your safety when driving on snow and ice. During cold weather, the constant contact of your tires with cold concrete, ice, and snow drops the pressure of your tires. Without proper tire pressure, your tires become less safe for winter driving. Roemer’s technicians will check and adjust your tire pressure for you at no charge.
If your tires are getting worn, winter is not the time to try to stretch more miles from your tires. If your tread depth is getting low, it can have serious effects on dry pavement – and those effects are multiplied in wet and snowy conditions. When in doubt, it’s best to get new tires than to drive on tires with insufficient tread.
A surprise to most people, 100% antifreeze is less effective than maintaining the proper balance of antifreeze and water. A 50:50 ratio of antifreeze and water helps protect against corrosion and is also best for your engine and its cooling system. Roemer’s auto technicians will make sure your anti-freeze balance is optimal.
Low Viscosity Motor Oil
Cold temperatures thickens motor oil and changing to a low viscosity oil (from 10-W30 to 5-W30) will allow the oil to move more freely in your engine and engine parts. The thicker oil in the winter makes it more difficult for the engine to turn over when starting.
If your battery is more than three years old, it’s time to have it replaced. It’s important to have a reliable battery during the winter months. Colder temperatures drain energy from the battery and with this energy reduction, it’s important that your battery connections are secure, clean, and free from any corrosion.
Wiper System Inspection
Wipers tend to get lots of use in winter months. Generally it’s a good idea to replace your wipers with specialized winter wiper blades that can help prevent snow and ice from getting inside the assembly. Have your nozzles checked to see if they are clean and need adjustment. Also check the windshield fluid reservoir to ensure it’s full. You may want to consider deicer solutions that are available for wiper fluid reservoirs as they can really help keep your windows clear.
Roemer’s Tire Factory can help you with all of these services. We can also provide all your Missoula auto repair needs. Just give us a call at 406-549-6425 to make an appointment. We’ll get you in and out in no time – and you can be sure you’re ready for winter driving!