BBB tips to get car ready for winter


As we move into 2022, one important goal is to make sure the vehicle gets through the upcoming winter weather. The Better Business Bureau always get complaints after the first big winter storm. Consumers are unhappy with the towing service they used, or the repair needed on their car after it froze on the highway.

Here are some simple BBB tips to make sure your car is ready for that first blizzard.

1) Have a local repair shop winterize the car. Make sure the hoses, wires and belts are in good shape. If the car is older, replacing the rubber parts makes sense because, regardless of your mileage, they deteriorate with age.

2) Consider installing winter wiper blades.

3) Check all fluids. The antifreeze, of course, but also the windshield wiper fluid reservoir should be full and the oil and power steering fluids should be topped off.

4) Check the battery. If it’s old, replace it. Winter is very hard on the battery and you don’t want it to fail on the coldest day of the year.

5) Have some door lock lubricant like silicone spray in case the locks freeze up.

6) Are the tires ready? They need enough tread and should be properly inflated, since tires lose pressure as the temperature goes down. They should be inspected for uneven wear on the treads, a bubble or bulge on the tread or sidewall, and any cuts or tears in the sidewall. The tread needs to be deeper than 2/32nds of an inch; have your mechanic measure them for you. Bald tires are extremely dangerous in icy conditions.

7) If a car is parked outside, at home or at work, get a quality car windshield cover. Coming out to go to work the morning after a big snowfall, removing the cover is much easier than scraping the windshield for 15 minutes.

8) Many cars have remote starting which can warm up the engine and interior. Remote starting can use more gas, but it warms the engine before driving and thins very cold oil, improving lubrication. But be sure the remote start is factory or professionally installed.

9) Have the trunk equipped for emergencies. A blanket, jacket, shovel, sandbags, one or two good flashlights with fresh batteries, jumper cables, road flares, water, non-perishable snacks, and some spare wiper fluid and antifreeze.

10) Consider two excellent safety backups for winter. Have a fully charged up cell phone to use for emergencies, and consider membership in a quality roadside assistance service like AAA. This will give you true peace of mind.