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Prepare Your Car for Winter Weather

Highlights

  • Avoid dangerous winter travel problems by planning ahead.
  • Have maintenance service on your vehicle as recommended.
  • Check the antifreeze level.
  • Keep the gas tank near full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.

Automobile in Icy and Snowy ConditionsPrepare for extremely cold weather every winter—it’s always a possibility. There are steps you can take in advance for greater wintertime safety in your home and in your car.

Prepare Your Car for Winter

You can avoid many dangerous winter travel problems by planning ahead. Have maintenance service on your vehicle as often as the manufacturer recommends. In addition, every fall, do the following:

  • Have the radiator system serviced or check the antifreeze level yourself with an antifreeze tester. Add antifreeze as needed.
  • Replace windshield-wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture.
  • Replace any worn tires, make sure the tires have adequate tread, and check the air pressure in the tires.

During winter, keep the gas tank near full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.

Checklist

Keep your car fueled and in good working order. Be sure to check the following:

  • Antifreeze
  • Windshield wiper fluid (wintertime mixture)
  • Heater
  • Defroster
  • Brakes
  • Brake fluid
  • Ignition
  • Emergency flashers
  • Exhaust
  • Tires (air pressure and wear)
  • Fuel
  • Oil
  • Battery
  • Radiator

Extreme Cold: a Prevention GuideSend eCardsReady Ready! Winter Weather InfographicReady: Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed.

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