Tips To Get Your Car Ready For Winter

While everyone realizes that winter can be particularly harsh for people caught unprepared, it is sometimes easy to forget that winter can be hard on vehicles as well. Vehicles caught out in this fashion can run inefficiently and, in the worst cases, not run at all. It’s always important to prepare your vehicle for winter before it actually arrives so let’s take a look at the following tips and you’ll be well on your way to a carefree season.

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First and foremost, you should check your antifreeze. Most vehicles have a 50/50 ratio of antifreeze to coolant, but increasing this to 60/40 is a good idea when it’s particularly cold out. Consult your owner’s manual for more detail.


Naturally, oil isn’t as susceptible to freezing temperatures as water but that doesn’t mean it is entirely immune from problems. Oil viscosity is an important factor in determining how well an oil performs and colder temperatures directly affect this value. Thinner oils are generally preferable during the winter months and your owner’s manual will have more information regarding the specific type that your engine is designed for.

Other Fluids

The prevailing theme when winterizing your vehicle revolves around preventing the freezing of liquid, which is the most problematic feature of winter. While we have mentioned the most critical fluids up above, it is worth checking the non-essential fluids as well. Even though these may not affect the function of your vehicle, they can still cause headaches if they aren’t functioning properly. Washer fluid is a great example, as winter gunk can quickly build up on windshields and frozen washer fluid won’t be much help. During the winter months, swap out your traditional fluid for one with antifreeze added and change your wiper blades when you do it. This little attention to detail will make all the difference in the world.

Defroster and Heater Check

Both your defroster and your heater are important during winter months. Your heater is necessary to maintain comfort and your defroster makes a serious contribution to safety, so you especially want to ensure it is functioning. If you continue to experience issues with frosted windows, verify that there are no air leaks around your doors and windows before you take it to a mechanic.

Tire Choices

Inspect your tires for wear and tear and ensure they are in good working order. Tires with bulges or worn treads will create frustration and could even pose a safety hazard. If you live in an area that experiences heavy snowfall, you may want to invest in specialty snow tires that provide additional traction. No matter what tires you opt for, make sure to adjust your tire pressure accordingly for the colder temperatures. As usual, consult your owner’s manual for more detail.

Stay Fueled

Cold temperatures produce peculiar effects in vehicles and your gas tank is particularly susceptible. You want to keep your gas tank above the 1/4 mark during the winter to ensure condensation doesn’t build in the tank. This can lead to a myriad of problems and the last thing you want on a cold night is to have your vehicle not start. Keeping your tank filled will help prevent this issue.

Winter is a time of wonder and festive spirit, but it can be bothersome to car owners. By following the tips listed above and using some common sense, you can avoid any major pitfalls and keep winter merry.

Island Auto Group is a premier dealer of vehicles serving Brooklyn, Jersey City, Newark, Long Island City, Woodbridge, and New York City, with vehicles ranging from Chrylser to Subaru, Toyota and Volkswagen.