Ways to Winterize Your Car

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The leaves have all fallen, the temperature has been steadily dropping, and before you know it, winter will be here! While winter means cozy fires, hot drinks, and cuddling up in warm clothes, for some, it can mean treacherous roads, expensive repair bills, and hours stuck in traffic. Although you may love the winter, your car does not. Don't worry, there are a few things you can do to winterize your car and make the cold season a little easier on your vehicle.

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Check Antifreeze Levels One of the most important things you can do is check your antifreeze levels and ensure they're adequate, especially as temperatures drop. Low antifreeze levels can cause your engine to freeze. If your antifreeze levels are low and your car manages not to freeze, it can still lead to expensive repairs down the road. So, how do you know if your antifreeze levels are low? The simplest way to know is by opening the hood and checking the reservoir. If it's empty, or if there needs to be more fluid, you must add more. You can also have a mechanic check it for you or buy a kit that will test the antifreeze level in your engine. Either way, it's vital to be proactive and ensure your car is ready for the winter months ahead.

Fill Up on Fluids Another critical step in winterizing your car is to ensure that the washer fluid and windshield wiper reservoirs are full. With all the snow and ice, you'll be using them frequently to keep your windshield clear, so you can see ahead. By filling the reservoirs with a winter de-icing fluid, you’ll prevent the fluid from freezing during the cold winter evenings.

Clean & Inspect Your Tires Inspecting your tires for wear and tear is especially important if you'll be driving in icy or snowy conditions. Before taking to roads that are covered in ice and snow, check those tires. This means more than just swapping out your summer tires for snow tires. It’s best to have your tires thoroughly inspected by a professional to ensure they can handle what’s ahead. Be sure to regularly clean your tires as well! Winter tires have a deeper tread and can hold onto mud and wintery slush easier. The deeper tread can also kick more grime onto your undercarriage and cause rust. Regularly washing your tires in the cold months will keep you safe on the roads and protect your undercarriage.

Check Your Battery, Brakes, and Oil It’s also a good idea to make sure your brakes and battery are working properly. Have your battery tested at a local parts store to ensure it's charged and working correctly. You may need a more powerful battery for winter cranking power in your vehicle. While the mechanic is at it, have them inspect your brake pads and shoes. If they're worn, they’ll need to be replaced. And check your brake fluid levels and top them off if necessary. Make sure they pay special attention to your automatic braking system (ABS), since it keeps you in control by preventing your brakes from locking up when stopping on slippery ice or snow.

Another way you can winterize your car is to get an oil change to keep your engine running smoothly. You may have been running a summer-weight oil that will become thicker in winter and have trouble flowing efficiently through the engine. Changing to a lighter-weight oil will keep your engine running even in the coldest weather. Keeping the oil at the full mark will also help ensure that the engine gets the lubrication needed to run smoothly and efficiently all winter.

Winter Car Care & Emergency Kit In the event that you find yourself stranded on the side of the road in cold weather, you'll want to stock your car with emergency supplies like a shovel, blankets, and extra snacks. It’s also a good idea to get a winter car care kit that includes things like an ice scraper, de-ice, and snow brush. Admit it, last year you tried scraping ice off your windshield with a credit card. Do something different this year and get a winter car care kit that includes an ice scraper, de-ice, and snow brush! These items will help you keep your car clean and free of snow and ice, making it easier to get around in the winter.

Keep Corrosion Away It's always best to clean your car all year round at a car wash, but it's especially necessary in the winter. The salt and sand used to de-ice roads can cause serious corrosion and rust if allowed to sit on your vehicle. Plus, cold weather can cause condensation on your car, which can also lead to corrosion. Regularly washing your car at an automatic car wash can easily prevent these concerns.

Whether you need a quick touch-up, or you're covered with winter road grime, Take 5 Car Wash has various options for keeping your car protected during winter. With a Take 5 unlimited car wash membership you can help keep your vehicle looking its best all winter long. For unparalleled shine at the best car wash near you, visit a Take 5 Car Wash location today!

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