7 Easy Steps to Winterize Your Car

Winterize Your CarYou're already late for work, or perhaps you just want to get home after a long day. The last thing you want is to break down because your car isn't ready for the cold and harsh winter weather. Taking a few minutes to prepare your car before winter arrives can make all the difference in reaching your destination safely and on time. But don't worries if winter arrive early; it's never too late to winterize your car! Follow these easy but critical steps to winterize your car.

1. Replace your Windshield Wipers

Scraping the ice from your windshield is never a fun chore, but replacing your windshield wiper blades can speed up the process. In addition, new blades will keep your windshield clear when driving in rain, snow, ice or sleet.

2. Check your Battery

The winter months are especially harsh on your car's battery. The engine is harder to turn over because the chemical reactions that generate electricity operate slower at cold temperatures. Take your car to the Mazda Auto Repair shop or your local auto shop to have your battery inspected. Having a dead battery in the middle of winter can leave you stranded, often in the middle of nowhere.

3. Check Tire Pressure

Always check your tire pressure before the winter months. When the temperature gets colder, your tire pressure will decrease. Not having the correct air pressure in your tires will cause them to lose traction on the road, making for very dangerous driving. Check your tire pressure at least once a week during winter months to ensure your vehicle is safe to drive.

4. Switch to Snow Tires

Have you ever walked on an icy or snow covered walkway in a pair of tennis shows? If you have, then you know that you don't have much control over slipping and sliding all over the place. Using all-season tires in winter conditions is just as bad as wearing those tennis shoes on ice. Snow tires are built specifically for winter and offer distinct advantages over all-season tires. Snow tires:

  • Grip the road better
  • Prevent against getting stuck in snow or ice
  • Do a better job stopping the car
  • Provide better steering/control of the car

5. Know How to Use your Four Wheel Drive

Your 4WD will help reduce or eliminate spinning tires when you are starting out or going up hills, but only if you take the time to figure out how to safely use 4WD before the winter weather hits. Having 4WD doesn't mean you are safer driving at higher speeds.

6. Add Correct Amount of Antifreeze

Have Mazda Auto Repair check your antifreeze when you go for an oil change, or buy a tester and check it yourself. For winter, your car should have a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze. The right mixture is essential to keep your radiator and engine from freezing over.

7. Stock an Emergency Kit

In case you are stranded on the side of the road for a long period of time, having the right items in your emergency kit can be a life saver, especially during the cold winter months. For winter, your emergency kit should include:

  • Sweatshirt
  • Hat, Gloves, Scarves
  • Snow pants
  • Blankets
  • Snow shovel
  • Flashlight with fresh batteries
  • Hand and foot warmers
  • Bottle of water, small snack
  • Whistle
  • Sand or Cat litter - helps with traction for cars stuck in snow/ice

Whether you winterize your car or take it to any authorized Mazda repair shop, ask them to winterize your car for you, by following these 7 steps.

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