Preparing for Winter Driving


 As the winter season approaches, get ready by prepping your car and reviewing our safety tips!

Prep Your Car

In addition to annual maintenance, here are some tips to winterize your car: 

  • Test your battery as the power can drop with the temperature
  • Make sure the cooling system is working properly 
  • Ensure that the anti-freeze reservoir is full
  • Ensure that all-season radial tires have good tread
  • Check the tire pressure since it can drop as the temperature does
  • Check your wiper blades and replace if needed
  • Make sure that you headlights and tail lights are working 
  • Add wiper fluid that is rated for -30oF 
  • Keep your gas tank at least half dull to avoid a gas line freeze
  • Dress appropriately for winter weather conditions and wear multiple layers in case your car breaks down or you get stuck during cold weather

Make an Emergency Kit

Keep a kit in your car at all times with the following items:

  • Windshield ice scraper
  • Snow brush
  • Flashlight with operating batteries 
  • Small shovel
  • Traction aids (bag of sand, cat litter, etc.)
  • Emergency flares and/or reflective triangles
  • Jumper cables
  • Water and snacks
  • Blankets, additional coats and winter gear

Before You Drive

  • Clean your car's external camera lenses,side view mirrors and all windows for optimal visibility
  • Remove any dirt, ice and snow from sensors to allow any assistive-driving features like automatic emergency braking to work
  • In frigid weather, consider warming up your car before driving

        - To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, never leave your car running in your garage, even if the garage door is up 

  • Check the forecast before driving and wait out any storms if possible

          - If you cannot postpone your trip, share your travel plans and route with friends and/or family before leaving

Avoid a Crash

  • In wintry conditions, avoid using cruise control and brake retarders
  • Steer in the direction of a skid, to avoid overcorrection when your wheels regain traction
  • With an anti-lock braking system (ABS) continue to press and hold the pressure on the brake pedal
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly
  • Increase your following distance to 8 to 10 seconds
  • If possible, don't stop when going uphill
  • If visibility is severly limited, pull off the road to a safe place (off the road and shoulder)


Remember to always leave your house prepared and stay safe driving this winter.