Winter is coming. Are you prepared for the cold, icy conditions? Getting yourself – and your car – ready is important if you’ll be commuting to work, or driving anywhere for that matter. Here are some important car care tips to prepare for the winter time.

Car Maintenance

driving in snow, winter drivingOne of the most important things to do is check your tires. Conditions during winter, such as snow, slippery roads, and black ice, are far more dangerous. The deeper the tread, the more traction your car will have and the safer you’ll be. To check your tires for wear, just use a penny. Stick the penny upside down between each tire's tread; if you can see the top of Abe Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace the tires.

The next thing to check is your car’s mileage. At a minimum, you should perform vehicle maintenance at 30,000, 60,000, and 90,000 miles. Depending on how many miles you have and which checkup point you’re closest to, these specific things should be looked at:

  • At 30,000 miles, check your vehicle’s belts, hoses and fluids. Replace the belts and hoses if needed and top off any fluids.
  • At 60,000 miles, in addition to the procedures done at 30,000 miles, also check your vehicle’s battery. Some batteries are only meant to last around 80,000 miles. If you see anything faulty, replace it ASAP.
  • At 90,000 or more, in addition to the procedures done at 30,000 miles, get a full transmission and engine evaluation. You might also want to consider replacing the timing belt (if it is a belt).

Additional Essentials

Sometimes, even after preparing your car for winter, things can go wrong and leave you stuck. If you know your area gets hit hard with snow, make sure you’re prepared for the unexpected.

Always keep an emergency kit handy, as well as winter-specific emergency equipment. This includes an extra set of warm clothes (jackets, hats, gloves etc.), blankets and sleeping bags, an ice scraper, shovel, salt, flares, and non-perishable food and bottled water.

Bottom Line

Weather can be unpredictable, so it’s always important to be prepared for anything. Winter, in particular, can be more dangerous, so make a checklist of what you should have before the first snow falls.

If you’re looking for a new winter-friendly vehicle before the season starts, but bad credit is in your way, Drivers Lane wants to help. We work with a nationwide network of special finance dealers who have the lending specialists available to work with people who have credit challenges. Begin today by filling out our free, no-obligation auto loan request form.