The Best Ways To Prepare Your Car For The Cold Illinois Winter

You might be basking in beautiful fall weather now, but winter is right around the corner. With freezing temperatures and winter precipitation compromising driving conditions, taking proper precautions early means you’ll be set throughout the season. Here’s a list of tasks to help insulate yourself and your vehicle from another frigid Illinois winter.

Check Tires

Fall is ideal for having tires rotated and inspected since bald or dry-rotted ones are hazards in their own right. Even if they look borderline, it’s best to be cautious and replace them. Better yet, consider purchasing snow or winter tires, as their specially-formulated rubber compounds resist cold temperatures and their deep treads dig into ice and snow.

Catch up on Routine Maintenance

Consistent service ensures your vehicle runs smoothly any time, but pre-winter is especially important since maintenance may have been neglected over the summer. Most importantly, check engine fluids. For example, top off the oil, coolant, transmission and brake fluids and replace the appropriate filters (or upgrade to higher-quality ones).

A fully functioning brake system is vital to driving safely on wintry roads. To start, check rotors and pads to make sure they aren’t worn and pay close attention to exterior lights. Since lessened visibility is common in winter, it helps to check windshield wipers and replace them if they’re older than six months, adding freeze-resistant wiper fluid.

Don’t Ignore the Interior

While you’re updating other systems, remember to think about your vehicle’s interior, as cold weather can also take its toll in this area. For help with mud and ice, all-weather floor mats can make a big difference, and keeping windows clean protects against low visibility.

Get a Car Kit

Having supplies available for emergencies can save lives. Here are some key tools to have handy this winter:

  • Chains
  • First-aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Jumper cables
  • Small knife
  • Flares
  • Ice scraper
  • Blanket
  • Energy or snack bars
  • Water gloves
  • Small shovel
  • Waterproof matches
  • Bag of sand or cat litter

Check the Coolant System

Since extreme weather can make a mediocre coolant system fall to pieces, it’s important to get it checked before cold sets in. If anything appears worn or has holes, have it replaced, and remember to keep a close eye on hoses, pumps and radiator pressure.

If you take the time to reinforce your vehicle before an Illinois winter sweeps in, you’ll be glad you did. For extra guidance and professional service, remember to call Doc Motor Works at 815-577-3893 today!