7 Tips to Keep Your Car Running Smoothly in The Winter Cold

By Daisy Emah-Emah Posted: 11/04/2021

As an old phrase goes – Winter is coming!!!


As you step into the winter season you go through wardrobe changes and show change to keep you from freezing in the cold. But have you ever considered the fact that your vehicle would need to be protected as well? 


Of course, you thought of your car…


But even if you didn’t, now you can think about it…


Just like you, your can needs to go through a makeover for it to serve you efficiently in the cold. Also, if you care about saving money, you need to take your car during the cold. The initial investment of changing your fluids, fixing new brakes and wiper are minimal compared to the amount you will spend reviving your car when it breaks down due to the harsh cold condition. 


A good winter preparation not only enhances your car’s performance and saves you money but it can save you from getting into an accident.  


Winter roads can be slippery and dangerous and it can be a real pain driving during a winter storm, being prepared is key by servicing your car and replacing parts that need to be replaced. You also need to have a winter emergency kit with you in your car at all times during the winter period. 


Even though you have kept your car in good condition throughout the year, your car is more likely to break down often in the cold than in other seasons, so you need to take extra precautions with servicing and maintenance…  


We have put together a checklist of things you need to do to prepare your car for the winter. We will look at the maintenance and car accessories you need to have at all times throughout the winter period. 


1. Inspect Your Battery

Cold weakens battery capacity and makes it much difficult to turn on your engine – especially on EVs. If you have used your battery for a very long time you may need to change it, because it would be a lot harder to handle in the cold. Test your battery’s condition, check the starter, battery fluids, cables, and make sure there is no corrosion on the terminals. 


Don’t wait for your battery to die and leave you stranded in the cold before taking action. Make use of a tester to test your battery and have a professional mechanic take a look at the battery and recommend servicing or replacement where necessary. 


2. Tires inspection and Replacement

Tires are important and critical to navigation and safety when you are driving. Inspect your tire tread and rotate your tires if they are in good shape. Replace worn-out or torn tires.


Keep an eye on your tire pressure as tires tend to deflate faster as the temperature drops. Low tire pressure wears out your tires faster, affects your gas mileage, and can hinder your control over the car – and with slippery roads, you need all the control you can get to avoid any disaster. 


Invest in winter tires as these can save your life. They have a good grip on both icy roads and cold wet roads. Winter tires will provide you with more traction on snow, can firmly secure your car, and prevent you from skidding. Winter tires perform better on ice and can prevent a potential at-fault accident by providing better control, shorter stopping distance, better handling in turns. 


3. Check your Lights

During winter, the days are shorter and nights longer, your headlamps need to be functioning at all times if you want to navigate your way in the snow. The salt and dirt build-up on your headlamps can affect visibility by dampening the effectiveness of your lights – so clean the lights often. 


It is also recommended to carry an extra bulb in your car in case any of the bulbs need replacement. 


4. Check Your Fluids

Replace car fluids – engine oil, brake fluids, coolant/antifreeze. Antifreeze 


Also, ensure that you replace your screenwash as winter weather frequently attracts dirt and salt which affects visibility. Screenwash will enable you to wash your windscreen whenever it is dirty. It is important to have all these fluids in handy as fluids in the car tend to freeze in the cold.


5. Inspect your Brakes

Your brakes are more strained during winter and with the salt and moisture in the ground, your rotors could rust which reduces their performance. Check your braking system and make sure they function properly, replace brake pads if they are worn out. 


You need your brakes in top condition since you have to face the cold wet and endless icy roads the entire winter season…


6. Replace Your Wipers

Replace your wiper blades because they get streaked when packed with snow. Using winter blades makes it easier for you to wipe your windscreen in the winter. They help you get better visibility and drive safer in the cold.  


7. Load up on these accessories

Make sure you have the following tucked away in your car this winter season: a Jump cable to jumpstart your car in case your battery runs out. You need to have a first aid kit in case of emergency. You also need to have a de-icer, scraper, shovel, tow rope, escape tracks, and a flashlight. All these will come in handy if you are stuck in the snow or in an emergency.  


The most important tip is to drive safely especially during a snowstorm and within the speed limit to prevent accidents or any road mishaps. 


Further Reading

  1. Easy and Useful Tips to Improve Gas Mileage on your Car
  2. 4 Easy Ways to Potentially Increase a Car’s Value
  3. 5 Things to do to Restore Your Flooded Vehicle
  4. 5 Useful Car Accessories to buy for Your Car