Winter is Just Around the Corner – Make Sure Your Car is Ready!

Winter is Just Around the Corner – Make Sure Your Car is Ready!

Have you given your car the tender, loving care it needs to survive the ravages of winter? Following the checklist provided by Nationwide Insurance can help ensure it’s prepared to take on the cold.

Antifreeze and Cooling System

  • Before temperatures drop significantly, drain your cooling system and add new antifreeze (draining the car radiator and refilling it with new coolant* should be done at least once a year)
  • Check the owner’s manual for the proper coolant level
  • Make sure the reserve tank or overflow tank fluid levels are sufficient


  • Check tires weekly for proper tread and air pressure (you’ll find the recommended tire pressure inside the driver’s side door, doorframe or in the owner’s manual)
  • Replace worn tires
  • All-weather tires are generally adequate for winter, but some areas require vehicles to have chains or snow tires with studs, so make sure to check local laws
  • If you live in an area prone to snow and ice, consider winter tires, which are designed to better grip icy pavement

Windshield Wipers

  • Replace worn windshield wipers, since sand and salt will be more prevalent* after a snowstorm
  • Replace wiper fluid with a winter mixture and maintain the proper fluid level
  • Consider winter wiper blades to help cut through snow and ice


  • Make sure battery cables and terminals are secure and free from corrosion
  • Test your battery by turning on the headlights before starting the engine – if they get brighter once you start the engine, schedule an appointment with a mechanic for further electrical inspection
  • If your battery is more than 3 years old, have it inspected by a mechanic

Fuel and Air Filters

  • Replace and keep water out of the system by using additives
  • To keep moisture in the gas line from freezing and for easier cold-weather starts, keep at least a half tank of gas* in the tank

Continue regularly scheduled maintenance such as oil changes, brake pads, and checking your lights and exhaust system. Along with these maintenance tips, make sure your vehicle has a winter emergency kit*.

Any of the recommendations should only be done if consistent with the owner’s manual.

*These sites are owned by an independent third party unaffiliated with Allegacy.  These links to third party sites are provided only as a convenience.  Allegacy does not manage the operation or content of the website you are about to enter.  Allegacy is not responsible for the privacy or security policies on the sites or other linked third party sites.  Beware of disclosing personal or account information.

2015. How to Winterize Your Car: The Official Checklist. Retrieved from

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