Is Your Winter Car-Prep Checklist Up to Date?

We're only three weeks into the official winter season – although it feels like it's been going on for months – and now would be a good time to make sure your vehicle is ready for the remaining 10 weeks of the season.

Now, in a perfect world, we could all just leave our cars in the garage until the weather warms up. But our world is far from perfect.

Hunkering down is not an option for most of us, so it's crucial that we keep our vehicles as winter-ready as possible.

Inclement weather including snowstorms, freezing rain, and high winds can strike at any time. And when they do, being out on the road can be a scary proposition.

There's time to prepare

My goal today is to provide you with suggestions on winterizing your vehicles. You already know it's important, but reminders don't hurt.

If you have a properly maintained automobile, your odds of getting stranded somewhere outside your home will be reduced.

It's all about keeping you and your family safe when you have to travel in the winter. Something as simple as a worn-down wiper blade or a broken rear defroster can spell disaster on the road.

I hope you'll take these recommendations seriously. And if we act soon, we'll be prepared for that next storm.

A dozen tips to keep you safe

Here are my tips for making sure your vehicles are as prepared as possible for winter.

  • Have your battery checked by a trained mechanic. Make sure it's in top condition to handle winter. Engines need more current from the battery in cold temperatures.
  • Make sure your tires have enough tread to handle slippery roads. Nearly bald tires may get your vehicle from here to there in dry conditions. But they're a death trap on snow-covered roads.
  • Check your tires' air pressure. Cold weather can cause air pressure to drop. For safe traction, you want properly inflated tires.
  • Ensure that your antifreeze mixture is about 50 percent antifreeze and 50 percent water, or 60/40 in colder climates. That way, the radiator coolant won't freeze.
  • Cold weather reduces your oil's effectiveness, so make sure you're current on oil changes. A properly lubricated engine will run best. Use a thinner oil in winter. While you're at it, check all other fluid levels.
  • Change your wiper blades and fill your wiper fluid compartment. Being able to clear rain and snow off your windshield is crucial. Salt on the road gives you better traction by melting ice, but it can smear a windshield.
  • Make sure your defrosters in front and back are working properly. When a windshield fogs up, driving becomes dangerous. Check the car's heater while you're at it.
  • Lubricate window tracks. Freezing rain can seep into window tracks and negatively affect window regulator cables. Use spray silicone or dry Teflon spray lubricant in those tracks. Do the same with door locks.
  • Get a tune-up. A mechanic can check your belts and hoses, ignition, brakes, wiring, spark plugs, and your fuel and emission filters.
  • Keep your gas tank as full as possible throughout winter. You never know when you might be stuck on a road for several hours and you'll want to keep the heat running. In addition, cold weather can cause condensation to form in a nearly empty gas tank. That water can travel into fuel lines and freeze.
  • Build an emergency car kit. It should include extra hats, coats, gloves and blankets. As well as a shovel, windshield scraper and brush, battery-powered radio, flashlight, escape tool on the driver's side of the car, and flares. Plus nonperishable food, water, first-aid kit, jumper cables, tool kit, and cellphone charger. And salt to melt ice and cat litter for traction. Not to mention canned compressed air with sealant for emergency tire repair. And a power bank.

Check out what Skip Bedell had to say about our products while building his Winter Car Safety Kit:

  • Finally, create a communication plan for your household. What does that have to do with cars? Well, every family member needs to know exactly what to do if their vehicle breaks down. Especially in the winter.

I hope some of these recommendations were good reminders. Staying safe while driving in the winter should be a high priority.

Patriot Power Sidekick

Ordinarily, when one thinks about a generator, it isn’t in connection with a car. Especially when it’s a larger, heavier generator. But 4Patriots offers a handy little – yet powerful – solar-powered generator that you can take with you wherever you go.

Under 8½ pounds, the Patriot Power Sidekick is lightweight and easy to carry around. And it uses the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source in the universe – the sun’s rays.

It will power up your critical devices in a blackout. And allow you to stay connected to family, important news, and first responders. It’s fume-free, silent, and safe. And it comes with a solar panel.

Here’s how to get yours >>


  • Roberta - July 02, 2023

    I’m searching for a solar car battery charger (to jump start a car).

  • james Richter - January 14, 2023

    we all need a power boost every day. Have a good day but a better tomorrow. Thanks for everything.

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