icy snow in the foreground, a car driving in the background

7 Basic Tips for Preparing Vehicles for Winter

Safety Tips

Winter weather is unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to plan for all the changes this weather brings. If you’re new to winter driving or need pointers for preparing your vehicle for the winter season, these are seven essential tips for preparing your car before winter.

1. Heater and Defroster Care

Head to a local motor vehicle shop or your mechanic for a good, professional inspection of your heater and defroster systems. Some systems will start with only a trickle of heat when you first turn them on, meaning that they need maintenance to be running at full speed. With the hotter temperatures we have had this year, it’s not likely that you have been using your heater. With the weather getting colder we’re sure that you’ll need to use your heater and defroster more often, so making sure it’s running properly is essential.

2. Winter Windshield Wiper Blades

Ensure that the wiper blades on your vehicle are in good condition and have a robust, sturdy frame. If they’re not, you should change them out before winter comes. It’s also important to understand that the temperature and amount of snowfall can impact the way your windshield wipers work. If you’ve never really paid attention to how this works, now is a great time to learn! Windshield wipers are easier to install than one would think, and this is an easy maintenance task you can do yourself.

3. Invest in Winter Tires

If you’re not going to get your vehicle serviced before winter, it’s essential to have the tires of your car checked beforehand. If they’re not in good condition, you can expect them to fail once winter hits. You want to avoid being stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire in the middle of nowhere. Make sure you have solid and sturdy tires before heading out for the holiday season and all of those extra driving miles that winter brings.

4. Keep Your Lights Bright

Saving money on gas is nice during the holiday season but driving under foggy or cloudy conditions will only be beneficial if you have bright lights on your vehicle. Make sure that you change out the old, dim bulbs with some new high-intensity bulbs that can help make it easier to see while driving. Don’t worry about breaking the bank if you want to spend less money. Some Walmart and other discount auto parts stores have a large selection of options at affordable prices.

5. Battery Maintenance

Taking the time to ensure that your battery is in good working condition will ensure that you’re prepared for this winter season. A simple test at a local motor vehicle repair shop can help determine if it’s time to replace the old battery or have it checked out by a mechanic. It’s one of those things that are relatively easy to take care of with the proper attention and can save you a lot of money in the long run.

6. Weekly Tire Pressure Checks

You should always check your vehicle’s tires to ensure they’re in good working condition. Set up a weekly tire pressure check with a local repair shop if possible. Car tires are susceptible to easily losing pressure when the temperature drops and can be damaged if they’re under-inflated. If your car has low tire pressure and you’re on the road, it is more likely that you’ll have an accident, so it’s essential to ensure that your tires are inflated properly before heading out for the holiday season.

7. Survival Kit

Make sure that you always have a survival kit with you. Whether it’s the essential items to get you through the storm or extra blankets and an emergency power bank/ charging batterie for your electronics, it makes all the difference in the world if you get stranded on the side of the road and have to wait for a mechanic or tow driver to get you back up and running.


It’s more important than ever to prepare your vehicle before winter hits. Some of the things that you should be doing to get ready are changing out wiper blades and defrosters and checking the tire pressure with a local mechanic. If you don’t want to consult with a mechanic or you want to save money on gas throughout the holiday season, you can always look for an affordable solution at some of your local Walmart stores.