What Are Some Ways to Get Your Car Ready for Winter?

How do you get your car ready for the winter season—especially when you live in Las Vegas? The desert rarely sees extreme cold like the northern and eastern climates, but temperatures can drop enough to have a negative effect on your car.

There are plenty of ways you can prepare a car for colder weather. Not only will this help you avoid problems, but it will ensure your car runs smoothly and safely all winter long:

  • Get an oil change: You should be getting your oil changed regularly anyway, but if it’s been a while since your last oil change, now is the perfect time to get it done. Your oil change pro may suggest using a thinner viscosity oil for the colder temperatures. If you’re changing the oil at home, check your owner’s manual for the right type of oil.
  • Test the battery: No one wants to be stuck in the cold with a dead battery. This is a good time to test your battery and find out if it needs to be replaced soon. Cold weather can have a negative effect on your power, making it more likely you’ll get stranded.
  • Check the coolant ratio: In the winter, your coolant ratio should be 60/40 instead of the 50/50 water/coolant ratio we use the rest of the year. If you’re not confident when it comes to changing the coolant ratio, have your local mechanic do the job.
  • Get a tune-up: This is also a great time to get a tune-up. If you want your mechanic to change specific fluids for you, tell them before your appointment.
  • Change the wiper fluid: Winter can bring rain to the area. Make sure your wiper fluid is topped off and ready to deal with any storms, dust and other desert weather phenomena.
  • Check the defroster and heater: Your heater and defroster are non-negotiable during the colder months. Start your car up and make sure the defroster and heater both work now, before it starts getting chilly. If there’s a problem, have your mechanic address it as soon as possible.
  • Inspect your tires: Cold weather can also affect your tire pressure. Check the owner’s manual to find the right pressure setting, then refill as necessary.
  • Fill the gas tank: This is just a practical tip. Keeping your gas tank full makes it less likely that you’ll get stranded when it’s icy outside.
  • Keep a de-icer on hand: This is also a great time to make sure you have a de-icing product handy, in case your doors freeze shut. Warm water or glycerin will get the job done.
  • Replenish your emergency kit: Finally, make sure to replenish your emergency kit with flares, plastic scraper, flashlight, batteries and first aid supplies, at the very least. If you’re in a tight spot, these will help get you through until help arrives.

Now that you know how to make your car ready for the winter season, be sure to bring it to Qwest Automotive Service for tune-ups and repairs. Call today for an appointment.