Gas, oil & filters
- Keep your gas tank at least half full throughout the cold weather to prevent moisture from forming in gas lines and possibly freezing.
- Be diligent about changing the oil and filter at recommended intervals. Dirty oil can spell trouble in winter. Consider changing to “winter weight” oil if you live in a cold climate.
- Check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time.
System checks – charging, cooling & exhaust
- Have the battery and charging system checked, as cold weather is hard on batteries.
- Clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system. As a rule of thumb, this should be done every two years.
- Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.
Pack the essentials
- Make sure that your ice scraper and snow brush are accessible and ready to use.
- Stock an emergency kit with jumper cables, a flashlight, blankets, extra clothes, bottled water, nonperishable food and a first aid kit with any needed medication.
Order a free copy of the popular Car Care Guide for your glove box by visiting www.carcare.org/car-care-guide.
“Winter magnifies existing problems like hard starts, sluggish performance and rough idling, so a little car care now is a sensible way to avoid being stranded out in the cold later,” said Nathan Perrine, executive director, Car Care Council. “Whether you perform the inspection and maintenance yourself or go to a trusted repair shop, it’s a small investment of time and money to help avoid the cost and hassle of a breakdown during the cold winter months ahead.”