There isn’t any better way to spend a cold, snowy night than by curling up with a good book under a nice soft blanket while the fireplace crackles in the background as you sip hot cocoa. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
What doesn’t sound great, however, is finding yourself stranded on the side of the interstate on a cold, snowy night because your car conked out on you fifty miles from civilization. Knowing how to winterize your vehicle saves time and money, and it just may prevent you from acquiring a nasty case of frostbite.
Inflation, inflation, inflation
Keeping your tires inflated reduces your risk of having a pothole-induced blowout, improves gas mileage, and helps your tires do their job when you travel during poor weather conditions. If you are unsure about whether your tires have surpassed their life expectancy, place a quarter between the treads, with Old George’s head facing downward. If the top of George’s head disappears, your tires are probably still in good shape. If the top of George’s head is visible, you are ready for some new rubber on your ride.
Lubricate to Avoid Being Stuck in a Jam
A new set of wiper blades should glide effortlessly over your windshield while removing rain, snow, and road grime out of your line of vision. When wiper blades become worn and brittle, they do a better job of smearing gunk across your windshield than they do of keeping the glass clean and streak-free. You can prolong your wiper blades’ lifespan by treating them with white lithium grease. Using white lithium grease on the hinges of your vehicle’s doors, trunk, and hood will prevent sticking and corrosion during the winter months.
Keep Bear Grylls in Your Trunk
If Mr. Grylls is not receptive to the idea of living in the truck of your Chevy until the spring thaw, you can improvise by using a box to store flares, a blanket, extra pairs of mittens and gloves, jumper cables, a flashlight, and a first-aid kit inside your trunk. (You may want to throw a box of granola bars and some thermal underwear in there for good measure.)
Instant De-Icing Solution
If you own a car and live in the Upper Midwest, chances are that you have experienced the frustration of arriving late because your windshield scraper broke while you were trying to remove a dense layer of ice from your windshield. If you want to be sure that scenario never occurs again, we recommend that you contact a realtor in the Florida Keys. If Florida isn’t your thing, stash a spray bottle filled with one part water and two parts rubbing alcohol inside your car. Since rubbing alcohol freezes at -128Fahrenheit, you can still use it as a de-icing solution if you move to Siberia.
A Little Preventative Maintenance goes a Long Way
You can keep your engine clean and happy by taking your vehicle in for regular maintenance checkups several times throughout the year. A reliable mechanic should be able to advise you on the correct oil viscosity for your engine during colder weather, the proper intervals for flushing your coolant system, and whether those brake pads will last you until spring.