Winterize Your Car

The winter solstice is tomorrow and that reminds us…you should winterize your car. You know. Because it’s winter.

You should consider:
• Flushing the coolant system
• Replacing your wiper blades
• Replacing your battery if it’s more than 4-ish years old
• Checking your tires/Switching to snow tires if you live someplace hilly/snowy
• Getting that 30,000 mile check-up you’ve been putting off
• Changing your oil
• Putting jumper cables in your car, as well as a first aid kit and a blanket. Even if you don’t need it, you could help someone!
• Checking to make sure your jack and spare tire are in good working order
• Testing the 4-Wheel drive.

Happy winter driving! —MEGHANN MARCO(Photo courtesy William Selman, Thanks!)

How to Winterize Your Car
10 Tips for Winterizing Your Car [MSNBC]


Edit Your Comment

  1. acambras says:

    Another suggestion:

    KNOW how to jump-start a car and change a tire, even if you have AAA. Sometimes they take forever to send someone, so it’s nice to at least have the OPTION of doing it yourself.

    I have AAA and it’s good to have if you need a tow or if hazardous road or weather conditions preclude changing your own tire, but it’s nice to know I can do the basics myself and save myself the 90+ minute wait.

  2. Frank Grimes says:

    Or move to a place like Houston where its an unbearable hell like exsistance for 8 months of the year but very pleasant right now (I grilled is shorts and flip flops this weekend)

  3. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I have SmartTrac AWD (kicks in when the rear wheels spin), I’ve been wondering how to check it, without having to gun it in the rain.

  4. homerjay says:

    Am I the only one that finds it incredibly sexy when Meghan talks about workin’ on cars?

  5. konstantConsumer says:

    those are some great points. it’s mid-seventies in jacksonville, fl today, so i’ll be sure to write those down.

  6. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Don’t forget, a great way to prepare for winter is to use old newspaper as cat litter!

  7. acambras says:

    Actually, konstant, it’s been a very warm December up here in New England, but the snow will come soon enough.

    As a Transplanted Southerner, I had to learn all of this car winterizing stuff when I moved up here a few years ago. I also had to learn how to drive in snow — that was interesting.

  8. any such name says:

    nice chicago parking dibs pic. ;)

  9. spin_sycle says:

    gee it snows even in houston once in a while!

    i’m thinking maybe 2-3 years ago

  10. RandomHookup says:

    Yeah, that couldn’t be a Mass. saved parking spot. We never leave anything even remotely that useable in the spot. When the city cleaned the spots, one guy left an old refrigerator.

  11. konstantConsumer:”it’s mid-seventies in jacksonville, fl today”

    Don’t go using up your hurricane season sympathy capital too fast, now.

    (and verily, excellent dibs photo meghann)

  12. Spaceman Bill Leah says:

    That’s def a Chicago chair; we sometimes use other things but traditionally it’s chairs. In some neighborhoods you could lose an arm for trying to move someone’s chair.

  13. Meg Marco says:

    Indeed it is Chicago. I’m homesick, what can I say?

  14. NeoteriX says:


    The article refers to part time 4WD (4 Wheel Drive) which is different than what I suspect your vehicle has, which is full time AWD (all wheel drive). If your car is AWD, then there’s really nothing for you to do.

  15. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Yep, too neat for a Boston parking space. Besides, in Boston there’d be four cars and an MBTA bus crammed in there..and no halfway decent chair would last 5 minutes before being stolen.

    Remember kids…just because you have four-wheel drive doesn’t mean your vehicle stops or turns any better on ice.

  16. pestie says:

    I grew up in Massachusetts and learned to drive in the snow, so all this talk of winterizing just makes me that much happier that I live in Florida now. But then, I’m comfortable in 90+ degree, 90+% humidity summer weather and start getting chilly around 70-75 degrees, so…

  17. yeabirfday says:

    I got a question: what about rust-proofing the undercarriage? Advised? Unnecessary? I’m driving a car bought in the Boston area in Buffalo, and one person I talked to said he thought it was more for cars coming from the West Coast.