Back to Consumer

5 Easy Ways to Prepare Your Car for Winter


Winter can bring cold temperatures, snowy weather and tough road conditions. This type of environment takes quite a toll on your car! To avoid getting stuck shivering on the side of the road, here are some easy tips to get your car ready for winter.

1. See Clearly
Your wipers work overtime in winter months since windshields become dirty very quickly when sand and salt are used to treat slippery roads. Inspect your windshield wipers to be sure the’re not streaking or skipping so snow, rain and dirt can be wiped off easily. Be sure to check (and re-check periodically) the amount of windshield wiper fluid you have in your car. Running out can create a very dangerous driving situation in foul weather. Visibility is crucial to safety. Lastly, be sure you keep an ice scraper in your car to clear all windows of ice and snow before getting on your way.

2. Check Your Battery
Is there a worse feeling than turning the key in your car and nothing happens? Be sure to test your battery today before winter does. Find an Interstate Batteries dealer near you who can detect damage and comprehensively inspect (or replace) your battery to be sure it’s ready to tackle the wear-and-tear of winter.

3. Tire Pressure and Treads
Slippery road conditions are treacherous and low tire pressure and worn treads can quickly turn a difficult situation into a dangerous one. Make sure your tires are properly inflated, per your owner’s manual. A quick test for tire treads is putting a penny in the tread and if you can always see the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head, your tires are very worn and you should consider replacing them. You may want to consider investing in snow tires if snow frequently falls in your area. Snow tires provide additional traction to keep you safe on the road.

4. Check Fluid
Be sure that you have done a thorough check of your car’s important fluids — coolant and oil.

  • Your antifreeze (coolant) should be at least a 50-50 mix. An auto supply store will have a test you can buy to check but, if you’re not up for that, have a mechanic verify it.
  • The type of oil you use will be dependent on your climate. Many mechanics will recommend a thinner oil in cold weather so it’s worth consulting with a local expert to be sure your car is lubricated properly for the conditions.
  • 5. Emergency Kit and Plan
    Emergencies rarely occur at convenient times so you have to be prepared! In a recent GasBuddy survey, 55% of respondents don’t feel they are adequately prepared for an emergency situation. Keep your gas tank full, phone battery charged and consider storing these items in your car to address the long list of things that could cause you to break down in the winter.

  • Flashlight
  • Blanket
  • First aid kit
  • Hat and gloves
  • Flares
  • Tire-changing equipment
  • Spare tire
  • Jumper cables
  • Shovel
  • Ice scraper
  • Washer Fluid
  • Sand or cat litter (something to gain tire traction in slippery conditions.)

  • Be safe and prepared for the winter weather!

    GasBuddy is a company that connects drivers with their Perfect Pit Stop. As the leading source for crowdsourced, real-time fuel prices at more than 150,000 gas station convenience stores in the U.S., Canada and Australia, millions of drivers use the GasBuddy app and website every day to find gas station convenience stores based on fuel prices, location and ratings/reviews. GasBuddy’s first-of-its-kind fuel savings program, Pay with GasBuddy, has saved Americans more than $6 million at the pumps since its launch in 2017.