Preparing Your Car for Winter

Preparing Your Car for Winter: Winter Prep Tips You Need to Know

Northeast_Snow-081e8When Mother Nature starts blowing snow, sleet and ice on your city’s streets, it’s time to prep your car for winter. But how do you know what to do to keep your vehicle running smoothly and your passengers safe and sound? Look no further than these simple winter prep tips for whatever kind of car or truck you drive.

The basics. When the weather starts to bring a chill to your bones, there’s a good chance that your car is feeling the dropping temperatures too. So, before the temperature starts to reach record lows here are just a few things to check to ensure your car will make it through winter intact.

  • Check your fluid levels. Whether it’s your windshield washer, coolant, brake or transmission fluid, all fluid levels should be checked, changed or topped off suggests the Popular Science website. Some of these fluids – like windshield wiper fluid can be replaced with a winterized version that contains de-icer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also suggest keeping your gas tank full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
    • Check your lights. Between your headlights, brake lights, tail lights, turn signals and hazards, make sure that all your car lights work properly. If you find that one is out, bulbs are usually an inexpensive thing to replace yourself.
    • Check your wipers. Before freezing rain and snow threaten to impair your view, make sure your front and rear windshield wipers work properly. Wiper blades should be replaced every six months or so to ensure you are not left in inclement weather conditions with an impaired view.

The extras. After you take care of the basics to prep your car for winter, there are more ways to help your car make it through the winter safe and sound. Here are just a few extra things you can do to maintain the safety and stability you want in the winter.

  • Distribute the weight evenly. Whether you can make sure your passengers and cargo are evenly spread throughout your car or you can artificially maintain an even distribution of weight using weights or sandbags, this helps your car not fishtail or swerve due to a heavier front than rear or vice versa. Pickup trucks and other types of large work vans or vehicles often require sandbags or other heavy items to be placed in the trunk to help the vehicle maintain even weight. Even if you have a small car, sandbags can help in this case too.
  • Switch to snow tires. Snow tires may be a bit of a financial investment, but they can go a long way in keeping you safe while driving through winter weather conditions. With a thicker tread, your car will be able to brake, handle and gain better traction while driving on sleek and icy roads. You may also consider using studded winter tires or tire chains where appropriate.
  • Stock up on supplies. While you should have a first aid kit and other safety supplies in your car year-round, it is even more important to have certain items on hand when the temperatures begin to drop. Consider everything from blankets and extra windshield washer fluid, to a shovel, ice scraper and even a set of tire chains in case you do find yourself stuck in the snow. offers a list of even more necessary winter equipment to stock up on before you head out into the snow this year including jumper cables and even a bag of sand or kitty litter to help you if you are stuck in a snow bank.

These are just a few ways you can prepare your car for the upcoming winter season. From the basics to the extras, you can get ready to travel through the snow in just a few simple steps. Another way you can keep your car covered is to make sure you have the right car insurance for every season and situation. You can even add roadside assistance to most policies to keep you protected when you’re on the road and away from home. Find other driving safety tips online to help you stay safe and sound wherever winter takes you this year.



Sponsored content was created and provided by Nationwide Insurance.

By: Micah Moon

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  1. Thanks for these wonderful safety tips!
    Penelope (NYC Blogger) recently posted..Five Ways To Wear @Gap 1969 Slim Jeans For Men #DenimEvolvedMy Profile

  2. Great tips!

  3. Snow tires! I can’t even imagine having to worry about those in Florida. Great tips, thanks for sharing!
    JulieD recently posted..Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingMy Profile

  4. That’s one reason why I’m SO glad we don’t get snow- I wouldn’t know how to drive in it for my life!
    Shell Fruscione recently posted..A Sick DayMy Profile

  5. I’ve been lucky, since I haven’t been maintaining my truck well at all.
    Robin @ Mom Foodie recently posted..Share a Little LoveMy Profile

  6. Thankfully in Florida, we don’t have to do anything different,

  7. Although it doesn’t snow here in Las Vegas, I always try to keep up on the regular maintenance of my car, including preparing it for the desert summer!
    Marcie W. recently posted..Our GetYourGuide Tour Experience + Giveaway (3/9)My Profile

  8. We have not had much snow at all this year which is unsual! These are great tips though.
    Mellisa recently posted..Happy Valentine’s Day! Celebrate with Disney’s PapermanMy Profile

  9. Living in Texas we really don’t have to worry about this.
    Crystal @ Simply Being Mommy recently posted..Sweet KissesMy Profile

  10. I refuse to drive in the snow – I can be the safest person however there’s other people too..

  11. thankfully living in Florida I don’t have to think about winter with snow at all but I can only imagine

  12. Great tips! Luckily, I live in the SF Bay Area where winters are mild. Cold weather with rain every once in a while.
    Leilani recently posted..Lansinoh Affinity Pro Double Electric Breast Pump #GiveawayMy Profile

  13. These are really great tips.

  14. Thanks for the great tips.
    Stefani recently posted..Disney On Ice “Dare To Dream” ReviewMy Profile

  15. Those are great tips – but I DON’T miss this at all!! :)

  16. Great tips!

  17. Great tips! Thanks for sharing.
    Sheri recently posted..Win a $50 Shell Fuel Card {Canada}My Profile

  18. excellent tips – I drive for work and it’s always a little unnerving if I have to be out in a major snow storm. I try to be as prepared as possible!
    Katie recently posted..I hate Valentine’s DayMy Profile

  19. I am so glad that I don’t live somewhere where I have to worry about these things!
    Jenn @therebelchick recently posted..I’m Italy Bound – Now to Find a Way to Pay For it!My Profile

  20. Good tips! Makes me glad we have mild winters here.
    Jenn recently posted..Review: Garmin nuvi 50LM GPS from StaplesMy Profile

  21. When I lived in the snow belt we had to deal with this from the end of October till March. O_o
    Lolo recently posted..Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Disney’s Paperman and View the Full ShortMy Profile

  22. Great tips! I am so glad we don’t have to deal with the snow here in Florida.
    Kathleen recently posted..Simplifying Life With the HTC Windows 8X Phone #Troop8x #HTC8My Profile

  23. great tips for winter. thanks so much for sharing.
    Vanessa: the queen of swag ! recently posted..Happy Valentine’s Day From Wreck It Ralph! #WreckitRalph #Disney #CraftMy Profile

  24. I have emergency supplies in our mini van but thankfully I don’t have to worry about snow very often in Portland.
    Kelly @ A Girl Worth Saving recently posted..Paleo Cinnamon Rolls IIMy Profile

  25. Great tips!

  26. Great tips! Not a lot of snow down here in the south, but the roads and bridges ice over occasionally.
    Lisa – Between the Kids recently posted..Roux Maison Laundry Detergent Review & Giveaway | #ClothDiaper Safe (2/28)My Profile

  27. ooh that picture looks scary. Thankfully in my area of Florida we don’t have to worry about snow.
    Jennifer H recently posted..Comment on Entenmann’s Rich Frosted Donut Turns 40 Sweepstakes + Giveaway by Jaclyn ReynoldsMy Profile

  28. i’m so happy that we haven’t had a really bad winter in a long time
    TRICIA Nightowlmama recently posted..Famliy Fun at the Monster Jam Monster Truck ShowMy Profile

  29. Great tips but makes me so glad I live in South Florida.
    Colleen recently posted..Medifast Update – Week ElevenMy Profile

  30. it’s great to have such tips!!
    Mumseword recently posted..What is the perfect gift?My Profile

  31. Great tips, I hate winter driving, hopefully it will spring soon!
    Anne recently posted..Journey to Oz Balloon Tour and Facebook AppMy Profile

  32. Now that we are having blizzards and more snow in the NorthEast, thanks for the tips!

  33. Car batteries last for about three to five years, so it’s best to keep track of how old yours is. If it’s time to get a new one, you can replace it in the fall when batteries typically go on sale.

  34. Winter could be the hardest season ever! It’s freezing and checking out your car’s condition is a must to avoid an accident. I’ve always make sure that its engine works fine so as the brakes. Thanks for the additional useful tips! I’ll keep them in mind.
    Penelope recently posted..Car Crash Pins Teenager, Causing InjuriesMy Profile

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