The winter months usually have a tendency to be harsh on your vehicle.  Between severe road conditions and frigid temperatures, your vehicle is put under more duress than it would normally go through under normal driving conditions.  This is why we have compiled some winterization tips to keep your vehicle running smoothly and to keep you safe even in the harshest conditions.

1. Ensure that all interior and exterior lighting is in proper working condition.  Furthermore, make sure there is washer fluid in your vehicle’s reservoir and wiper blades are in proper working condition (usually recommended to be replaced every six months to one year).  Visibility can be limited during the winter months; therefore, it is essential to take whatever steps possible to increase it.

2. Be sure to have your vehicle’s oil and filter changed at recommended intervals.  Cold weather conditions plus dirty motor oil make your vehicle’s motor work harder than it should, especially when starting.

3. Make sure your tires have sufficient tread and are set at the proper pressures.  Low temperatures can cause your vehicle’s tires to lose air pressure; therefore, it is recommended that they be checked weekly to ensure proper safety.

4. Cold weather puts additional strain on automotive batteries.  Have your battery and charging system checked to ensure it still has sufficient life to get you through the winter.

5. Have your cooling system cleaned, flushed, and filled with new antifreeze.  This keeps your vehicle’s motor operating in the proper temperature range and prevents corrosion in the system.

6. Bring your vehicle to have the exhaust checked for carbon monoxide leaks.  Windows are normally closed during the winter; therefore, carbon monoxide leaks can be especially dangerous to the driver and passengers.

7. Have the brake system inspected to ensure that they are functioning properly.

8. Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle that should include, but is not limited to roadside flares, water, a snow brush/ice scraper, flashlight, extra batteries, snow salt, shovel, and blankets.