This shop and my tips for winter prep has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WeatherProven #CollectiveBias
When we started discussing the possibility of a move to Maine, the major point of conversation was the winter weather. While my husband does prefer cooler temps over being hot, he wasn’t entirely sure that he would be able to get on board with -30°F temps.
Yep, you read that right. It gets cold in northern Maine. Really, really cold. And snowy. And icy. Let’s just say it: winter in Maine can be a mess.
So even though it’s fall and the weather is fairly beautiful, I’ve started to discuss winter prep for our car with my husband and daughter. It’s a little different than just putting together an emergency car kit. You’re not just planning for a flat tire or a breakdown and making sure your fluids are topped off.
Winter Prep Your Car
Here are 6 things winter newbies should consider when preparing their car for winter.
1) Check the battery. It’s hard to get motivated to move when it’s cold (5 more minutes of snuggling under a blanket, please!). That’s true for your car battery, too. Take the battery to have it tested, or when in doubt, just replace it.
2) Get an oil change. In addition to making your battery weaker, cold weather makes your oil thicker, and thick oil isn’t something you want. Consult your owner’s manual for suggestions on which type of oil you need to perform well in cold weather.
3) Create a car kit. In addition to the usual jumper cables and flashlight, plan to stock your trunk with the following: blankets (at least 1 per person), first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable food/snacks, compact shovel, flares, extra hats and gloves, socks, ice scraper, wiper blades, windshield washer fluid, spare tire, small tool kit, charged power bank, and a car lighter charger or adapter.
4) Check your lights. Visibility is already reduced during a downpour or snowstorm. Without properly functioning lights, it’s going to be nearly impossible for other drivers to see you stop, or for you to be able to make out the road. Make sure your brake lights and headlights work, are bright, and free of haze.
5) Top off your tank. Normally I only keep a quarter tank of gas or so. During the winter, however, I try not to let it drop below a half tank. The cold weather can freeze your fuel lines and more gas in your tank can help prevent that.
6) Check or replace tires. Tires are one of the most important considerations for winter. Your tires need to not only be in good shape and properly inflated, they also need to be designed for the conditions you’ll be driving in.
We recently visited Sam’s Club to purchase and install Goodyear® Assurance® WeatherReady™ Tires (we scored $80 off our set of 4 instantly*). Here in northern Maine, the weather can go from rain to ice to snow to sun all in the course of the same day. Having tires that give predictable control is extremely important to me, especially with my daughter riding in the back seat.
My husband looked over the new Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady Tires and was really impressed, especially by the Evolving Traction Grooves that provide like-new traction even as your tires wear over time. And they are made for all weather conditions – not just snow or ice. All-weather tires is something even my dad recommended to me, and I trust his advice on everything.
Be aware that this tire only fits certain vehicles. Check samsclub.com to find your tire size for your vehicle. You can also check the sidewall of your tires, your owner’s manual, or a sticker on the driver-side door jamb of your vehicle.
Now that we can cross new tires off our list, we’re working on adding a few items to our winter car care kit (like a compact shovel) and having the battery and lights checked. Then we’ll be ready for whatever winter has to throw at us!
What tips for winter prep for your car do you have to share?
*Save $80 off the displayed retail price. Excludes medium commercial truck tires. Not to be combined with any other offer. Offer can be changed, modified or cancelled at any time. No rain checks. See a Sam’s Club® Tire & Battery Center Associate for eligible tires, details, terms and conditions.