How to Prepare Your Car for Winter

Winter weather means tough times for your car. For months, it experiences an onslaught of cold, salt, snow, and ice. However, if you prepare your vehicle for these harsh conditions, you shouldn’t have any issues under the hood.

Read these tips to help you get your vehicle ready for the most difficult driving season of the year.

Check Your Charging System

Winter is coming, and this means your vehicle’s charging system will be working twice as hard. When the cold weather hits and the days get shorter, you’ll be using your heater, lights, and wipers far more than usual, which can put a strain on both your car battery and alternator. Plus, winter’s low temperatures can have a negative effect on your battery’s ability to stay juiced. To get through the season, a clean bill of health for your charging system is crucial.

Swap Your Tires

All-season tires simply aren’t safe when it comes to cold-weather driving. Winter tires allow you to break quickly and safely on both clean asphalt and snowy roads, and improve handling in slippery weather. Kick your subpar rubber to the curb! A set of winter tires costs much less than a car accident. Better safe than sorry; comply with your local winter tire regulations and recommendations!

Check Your Fluids

Close-Up Of Man Topping Up Windshield Washer Fluid In Car

The return of chilly temperatures is often a good reminder to check your car’s engine oil, coolant, and windshield washer fluid. If you’re due for an oil change, getting it done sooner rather than later will ensure better protection for your engine in the cold. The same goes for your antifreeze. If it’s been more than two years since your system was last drained and refilled, you may want to have your antifreeze tested to see if it still provides low-temperature resistance. Finally, remember to switch from summer to winter windshield washer fluid to avoid any unpleasant freeze-ups.

Pack a Survival Kit

Despite the best winter preparations, road incidents can happen. If you get stuck in below-zero temperatures, you need to make sure you can survive until a tow truck or passing motorist comes to your rescue, or until you can get back on the road. Consider stocking your car with a blanket or two, a first aid kit, a shovel, kitty litter for tire traction on ice, snack bars, and bottled water to help you stay safe and comfortable in an emergency.

Check out all the winter products available at or trust one of our 600 NAPA AUTOPRO shops for your vehicle routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on how to prepare your car for winter, chat with an expert at your local NAPA AUTOPRO service centre.

Benjamin Hunting