Winter is here! Cold temperatures, sleet, snow, ice, road salt…your vehicle has a lot to deal with over the next few months. Read our tips below for making sure you and your car get through this winter season safely.

Check wiper blades & windshield wiper fluid often

Wiper blades should completely clear your windshield with each swipe and if they are leaving streaks or missing spots, you should replace them right away.  Make sure to turn off your wipers before you shut off the car, so they are not trying to fight with ice & snow when you start the car later. You may also want to leave the wipers up in a raised position to prevent them from freezing to your windshield.

Winter windshield washer fluid is also important.  Winter fluid is designed so that it won’t freeze in the cold temperatures and it also helps to remove ice & snow faster from your windshield.

Maintain your vehicle’s fluids

In addition to wiper fluid, transmission, brake and power steering fluids should also be checked regularly. Make sure these are all at recommended levels as per your owner’s manual.

You’ll also want to check your coolant, or antifreeze, level regularly. Your engine will thank you later!

Check tire pressure regularly

Check your tire pressure regularly during the colder months. Tires lose about one pound of pressure for every 10-degree drop in temperature. Underinflated tires do not handle as well in the snow. Inside your vehicle’s driver door should be a sticker with the recommended PSI. So check your tire pressure and add air as needed.

Keep an emergency kit in your car

You may want to create an emergency survival kit to keep in your car during the winter. Here are some items to consider having in your winter car kit:

  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Blanket
  • Jumper cables
  • Snow shovel
  • Bag of abrasive material such as sand, salt or cat litter
  • Snacks and drinking water
  • Warning device such as a flare
  • Phone charger that can plug in to your car
  • Ice scraper & brush

Wash your car frequently

In areas that get a lot of snow and ice, you will want to wash your car frequently to clean off all the salt & chemicals from the road. This will help to protect your car from corrosion and rust. Be sure to clean the undercarriage, where salt can build up in the winter.

Upstate NY winters can be harsh on your vehicle. By following these basic winter car care tips, you will help your vehicle stay healthy and ready to take you to your next destination.