TREDs Top 10: How to Winterize Your Car

Calling all Seattleites or –ites of similar cities. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to help you winterize your car + a handy infographic below. The blustery, icy, unpredictable Seattle winters can easily turn socialites into homebodies and cubicle workers into telecommuters. At TRED, we want you to go about errands and commutes safely, no matter the weather forecast.

TREDs Top 10:

#1 Change your battery – Extremely cold temperatures reduce a car’s battery power by about 50%. With this in mind, it would be worthwhile to buy a handheld hydrometer for only $10 to collect information about the about of voltage in your battery (newer cars have this built in). You should be looking for breaks, cracks and battery fluid levels.

#2 Change your wiper blades and refill your wiper fluid – The winter seasons often result in mud splashing on your windshield and residue from salt-covered roads. To ensure clear visibility, consider buying washer fluid with antifreeze solution. Fair warning, using this type of wiper fluid long term can damage your car’s paint.

#3 Spruce up on your four-wheel drive knowledge – We know it has been a while, no judgement. Re-read your owner’s manual and refresh your knowledge on what speeds and environments are best to kick in the 4WD or AWD. In newer cars, these may automatically turn on.

#4 Invest in snow-friendly tires – On the other hand, you can add studs or chains to existing tires or buy all-season tires. Regardless, individual states have specific guidelines to follow. Here are the requirements for Seattle residents.

#5 Check your tire pressure – In low temperatures, cool air contracts. As a result, air pressure in your tires drops (by a lot). Inflated tires allow for more traction to help you get to where you need to go. Always check your headboard for flashing symbols or use a tire pressure gauge before leaving the house.

#6 Keep anti-freeze on hand– Consider stocking your work desk, purse, backpack and garage with vials of glycerin for de-icing door handles. To prevent iced over car handles and the like, spray parts of your car using a silicone-wax solution. Remember to keep the vials anywhere except in your car for…obvious reasons 🙂

#7 Change your oil – In colder temperatures, it is particularly important to switch to thinner, less viscous oil. Thicker oil will have a harder time turning over in the car.

#8 Be mindful of coolant to water ratio – A common misconception is that a car’s coolant system is used only to prevent your engine from overheating. Ethylene glycol serves as a useful coolant to help keep your engine running efficiently. Generally, a 50/50 ratio of antifreeze and water is recommended. Research what works best for your car.

#9 Protect your call from all angles – Use a fresh coat of wax to prevent corrosion and damage to your car from salt and dirt. Before temperatures drop, wash wheel wells and the underbody of your car. Above all, floormats, floormats, floormats. They are a lifesaver, year round.

#10 Stock your car with emergency supplies – Finally, consider filling a backpack with flares, blankets, boots, radio, engine oil, washer fluid, coolant, flashlight, first aid kit, gloves, ice scraper, food, jumper cables, tool kit. In sum, add the necessities. Alternatively, you can choose one out of many premade vehicle emergency kits and make it your own.

Winter will be here before you know it. We hope you found TREDs top 10 tips to winterize your car helpful and wish you a happy, safe holiday season.


Tips to winterize your car

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