It seems to happen so quickly. The days start getting shorter. The weather gets colder. Then all of a sudden... winter's here. So as you begin prepping your wardrobe for the coming season (bye-bye flip-flops, hello fleece!), it's time to start thinking about another kind of preparation: you need to winterize your car.
While many of us know the basic methods for preparing our cars for winter (see printable list below), a few simple tricks often get overlooked. By going the extra mile and adding these to your winterizing to-do list, you can save time and maybe some money (plus a whole lot of headaches!) this winter.
- Prevent Frozen Locks and Doors
With all the snow, rain, and sleet your car is exposed to during the winter months, there's a chance water can get inside your locks and then freeze - locking you out in the cold. Avoid this problem by lubricating the keyholes of your car with a silicone spray. Make sure you coat the areas around each door (and the trunk) to prevent them from freezing shut or not locking/latching properly.
- Remember the Defrosters
When the temperature starts dropping, the temptation may be to crank up the heat to check if it's still working. But don't forget your defrosters. Poorly functioning defrosters can make your car unsafe. So before winter weather hits, make certain your defrosters - front and back - are in good working condition. Check to see if hot air is blowing on the windshield up front and the electric defogger is working in back. Fixing any defroster issues now can mean safer driving all winter long.
- Check the Spare
Winter weather can mean rough driving conditions. Snow and ice make roads treacherous and put greater importance on your tires. Checking the condition of the four tires your car's riding on is a no-brainer, but don't forget to check the spare. Anyone who's ever been stranded will tell you that it's important to make sure your spare is fully inflated and in good condition. Remember to double-check that your car is equipped with a working jack, lug wrench, flashlight, and jumper cables. Also, keep some sand or cat litter in your trunk (along with a small shovel) to give you some traction in case you do get stuck.
Winterizing your car is a "once a year" thing, but if you want help protecting your car year-round, talk to a local Allstate agent
about a variety of auto insurance options that may be right for you.
Remembering that it's important to winterize your car is the easy part. Knowing exactly what you need to do is where it gets tricky. With that in mind, Allstate has come up with a list of winter maintenance "musts" that you can print out as a reference. Tape it to the workbench in your garage, store it in your glove box, or stash it in your wallet or purse. When the time comes, you'll have a simple, straightforward list to help prepare your car for winter.
Print 'n' Stash Car Winterizing Checklist
Headlights and Taillights
- Replace broken bulbs
- Check your car and clear off any debris on your lights, trunk, roof, and even in your wheel wells before you drive
- Test wipers (front and back)
- Swap out worn or damaged blades
- Check for corrosion
- Confirm battery is charging properly
- Keep jumper cables in your car
- Test tire pressure and wear (and keep a tire gauge in your glove box)
- Keep the wheel wells clear of ice and snow
- Keep sand or cat litter in your trunk for traction - along with some type of shovel or digging tool.
- Top off all fluids, including brake fluid, antifreeze, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and wiper fluid.
- Keep extra wiper solution in your trunk in case you run out
- Create a Winter Survival Kit, including: first aid kit, bottled water, snacks (protein bars, pretzels, etc.), bag of sand, ice scraper, small shovel, jumper cables, broom, extra winter clothes (gloves, hat and boots), flares, wiper fluid and flashlight (with fresh batteries)
We know that winter can be a car's worst nightmare. That's why we want to do everything we can to make it easy to protect yours. Contact a local agent to find out about Allstate's auto insurance options or get an online quote now.