Tips to Get You Ready For Winter Driving

Winter is the season to be “Car Care Aware.”

The Car Care Council recommends performing the following tasks to get your vehicle ready for severe winter conditions. If you’re not a do-it-yourselfer, visit a professional auto technician before the temperature dips.

  • Check the engine. Winter magnifies existing problems like pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling, so make certain the engine is in peak condition.
  • Check the coolant (antifreeze); coolant should be flushed and refilled every two years in most vehicles.
  • Change oil every 3,000 miles. Consider changing to a “winter weight” oil if you live in a cold climate.
  • Check the battery and exhaust system. Be certain the heater and defroster are working properly. Keep the gas tank at least half full, decreasing the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing.
  • Check tire tread depth and tire pressure; consider special tires if snow and ice are problems in your area.
  • Check to see that lights work and headlights are properly aimed.
  • Replace wiper blades every six months; consider special snow blades if the weather dictates.

A complete service schedule, along with other winter car care tips, is available at the Car Care Council’s Web site, The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” campaign, educating consumers about the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair.