Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter Driving

November 16, 2021 by

Winter driving comes with many challenges. This checklist will help you prepare yourself and your vehicle for many of them.

PREVENT SLIDING Worn or low tires decrease traction, which increases your stopping distance and reduces your overall level of control. Check tire treads and pressure. Replace worn tires or install winter tires; inflate low tires.
DON’T LOSE POWER Cold weather can strain a battery and cause starting problems. Test battery voltage, starter, and alternator. Inspect the cables, and clean the battery terminals.
ENSURE STOPPAGE Cold, moisture and salt take a toll on brakes, reducing their effectiveness. Have your brakes inspected and serviced.
STAY FLUID Neglected fluids are a common cause of engine and parts trouble; proactive attention to fluids can prevent untimely issues. Check the oil and antifreeze, brake, and washer fluids. Flush and replace as needed.
MAINTAIN VISIBILITY Packed snow and ice cause wiper blades to streak, or worn blades miss the glass altogether and impair sightlines. Replace wiper blades. Winter-specific blades are available that push snow and ice more easily.
CLEAR THE WAY Clogged air filters can reduce heater airflow and put stress on the blower motor. Replace all dirty filters, including air, fuel, PCV, and others.
STOCK UP Know the expected timeframe for winter weather to arrive in the region you will be driving, and stock your vehicle with the appropriate tools and necessities. Must-haves: ice scraper and shovel, sand or road salt, jumper cables, tire inflator spray, flashlight, phone charger, first aid kit, warm blanket and extra clothing, non-perishable food, and bottled water. Keep the gas tank at least ½ full.


To make sure you’ve got the right safety and insurance protection in winter and all driving weather, contact Holman Insurance Services.

Also, subscribe to the twice-weekly Morning Brake newsletter to keep up to date with weather and other news that could impact your drive.