Winter in the United States is no joke for many parts of the country. The snow, ice, and biting cold can be a real challenge, especially for our cars. But with a little bit of prep, you can ensure your vehicle is ready to face the frosty months ahead. Here are Milex Mr. Transmission's recommendations on how to get your car winter-ready and some tips on driving safely during the chilly season.
Prepping Your Car for Winter Weather
Before cold weather hits, make sure your car is ready to handle the cold weather.
- Check your tires: Cold temperatures can reduce tire pressure. Ensure they're properly inflated and have good tread. Consider investing in winter tires for better traction on snowy and icy roads. Consider storing a portable air compressor in your trunk as an easy fix if your tire pressure is low.
- Battery check: Cold can weaken your battery. Ensure it's fully charged and the connections are clean. Spray your connections with a battery terminal protectant for an added layer of protection.
- Top-up Fluids: Ensure your car's fluids, especially antifreeze, are at optimal levels.
- Wiper blades and fluid: Replace worn-out wiper blades and fill up the windshield washer reservoir with a winter formula.
- Replace air filters. Change your air filters to make sure they are clean. Dirt accumulation in the filter can hamper airflow and strain your heater’s blower motor.
- Fill the gas tank. During winter weather, particularly if severe storms are in the forecast, it’s a good rule of thumb to make sure you always have at least a half tank of gas. It can prevent the gas lines from freezing and increase the time you can stay warm if you get stranded.
- Emergency kit: Pack an emergency kit with essentials like first-aid supplies, a flashlight, blankets, a foldable shovel, jumper cables, and non-perishable snacks.
Safe Driving in Snow and Ice
Driving in winter conditions can be tricky. Nearly half a million crashes and more than 2,000 road deaths occur every winter due to severe weather, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. So, it's crucial to be extra cautious.
Adjust your speed to account for lower traction on snow or ice. It often takes longer to slow down on icy roads, so increase your following distance to give yourself more time to stop. Make sure to brake gently to avoid skidding. If your rear wheels start skidding, don’t panic. Slowly steer the car in the direction you want to go.
If Winter Woes Strike
Despite all precautions, winter can still throw a curveball. If you find yourself stranded, remember it's safer inside your car when temperatures are frigid. Put on your hazard lights and wait for help. Run the engine for about 10 minutes every hour to keep warm. Before you let your car idle, ensure your exhaust pipe is clear of snow to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. If the weather is particularly rough, tie a brightly colored cloth to your antenna or place it at the top of a rolled-up window to make it easier for help to find you.
Why Milex Mr. Transmission is Your Winter Car Prep Destination
Milex Complete Auto Care Mr. Transmission isn't just another car service center. For more than 50 years, we've seen our fair share of rough winters and know exactly what your car needs to brave the cold. Our technicians are trained to handle all winter-related car issues, ensuring your vehicle is in top shape.
But what truly sets Milex Mr. Transmission apart? It's our commitment to our customers. We don't just fix cars — we strive to build relationships. We believe in educating our customers to help you understand your vehicle's needs and are prepared for whatever winter throws your way.
And don't just take our word for it. As one satisfied customer, Mike M., put it, “It is really hard to find an honest, trustworthy mechanic these days. If you want quality, commitment, and honesty, this is the place.”
Winter can be a challenging time for drivers in places prone to freezing temperatures. But with the right preparation and by following safe driving practices, you can navigate the season with confidence.
To get your car ready for winter, make an appointment at Milex Mr. Transmission before the first freeze.