Car Talk: How to Prepare Your Car for Winter


Credit to Nicolas Bois//

By Martin Groves

Winter is a festive time of the year, fun for many, but not for your car. Not properly preparing for winter driving can be dangerous, from keeping your car in good condition to keeping it from skidding off the road, here are some simple things you can do to prepare:

  1. Get a set of winter tires. The biggest fear most of us have about driving during the winter is losing control of our car on snow or ice. Winter tires are made with a special rubber compound that enhances traction on snow and ice. Your tires are the only thing holding you and your car to the road, so they should be the first thing you invest your money in, whether you have a 2WD or 4WD car, they will make a huge difference.
  2. Wax your car thoroughly. Automotive wax is a that you apply to your car’s paint every 4-6 months, depending on the product. Wax is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to protect your paint and keep it looking shiny, but is often ignored by the majority of drivers. It is a good idea before winter to give your car a full wash and wax, a great way to keep your car in great shape through the harshest conditions.
  3. Use winter windshield washer fluid. This is pretty self-explanatory. If you continue to use a non-winter compatible windshield washer fluid in your car through days when the outside temperature is below freezing, do not be surprised to find the washer fluid frozen in the pipes, which is never a fun thing to have to deal with.
  4. Bring a snow shovel. If you ever get stuck, you will probably need to dig yourself out to get moving again. If you come across someone else who is stuck, you could be a good samaritan and lend them a helping hand by digging them out.
  5. Check engine antifreeze levels. Antifreeze is what keeps your engine working and stops it from freezing even on the coldest of days, so clearly it would be a good idea to make sure you have got enough in the car. This is a very easy way of avoiding going through the rather unpleasant experience of having to stand on the side of the road, in a snowstorm, waiting for someone to tow your car away because the engine seized up.

There are many other ways to prepare your car for winter, but those above are the easiest and most effective. Lastly, just remember the most important way to avoid incident is to drive safely.