By Brandon Baldwin

             You can prepare your vehicle for better reliability in the Winter, so here is a checklist of a few things:

1. Have a shop check your battery health.

2. Have a shop or perhaps you have a way to measure your freeze point of your coolant.  The 50/50 mix is typically good to -34 degrees F.  Make sure that if you need to top off, it is the correct coolant for the engine you have.

3. Tires!  Make  sure  you  have  enough  tread and that your tires are inflated to the recommended pressure printed on the sticker in the door opening.  Of course, snow tires are better than all-season, especially on ice, but that can be another article.

4. Wiper Blades need to wipe well!  I actually crashed a car due to poor windshield visibility.  Wipers are cheap insurance to help keep you out of the ditch and they are usually on sale at one of the parts stores or even Wal-Mart.

5. Windshield washer solvent that is good to as cold a temperature as possible, and some even have de-icer.  You can even use the washer solvent to help de-ice as the alcohol content reduces the freezepoint of the contents on the windshield.

6. Use Silicone Spray on the rubber seals.  Spraying silicone on the door seals and window seals helps to prevent icing, so you can still get your door open, or avoid the situation where you are at the drive-through and can’t get the frozen window open.  Silicone is good for the rubber seals even if it’s not winter: keeps them soft and pliable.

7. Keep a good snow brush in your car.  That way, you can make sure you have ALL windows and ALL lights uncovered, not only so you can see, but so that others can see you.  You want them to see your brake lights behind you, right?

8. Keep an emergency kit in your car that includes things such as jumper cables, flares, perhaps another cell phone charger, flashlight and extra batteries, and a blanket.

9. A small collapsible shovel is useful just in case you get stuck and it doesn’t take up much room.  These can be bought at hardware stores and even Ollies.

10. Finally, check all fluid levels. 

It’s extra important to maintain your car health during the winter time as any manufacturer considers our winter as “severe conditions”.  This would be in your owner’s manual, which is surprisingly loaded with more information than most people realize.

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