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10 Tips to Prepare Your Car for Winter

Daylight Saving Time has ended, you’re digging out your boots, you crave comfort food… these are all sure signs that, in the words of everyone’s favorite show, winter is coming.  

Despite maybe wanting to hibernate, chances are you will need to venture out. This means you will want to make sure your vehicle starts and keeps running throughout the rough weather ahead.

Check out this list to help you brave the elements and keep your vehicle in great condition no matter where the road takes you:

Prepare an emergency kit

Include an ice scraper, blankets, jumper cable, first aid kit and maybe some trail mix or other snacks that won’t go bad in case you get stuck in the snow.

Replace your windshield wiper blades

Experts recommend windshield wiper should be replaced every 6-12 months. Be prepared before the winter weather hits!

Check your car lights

With the sun setting earlier, it’s important to make sure all of your light bulbs are working and replace any dull bulbs.

Check your tire’s tread groove

Simply put a penny in your tire’s tread groove with Lincoln’s head down. If you can see the top of Honest Abe’s head it’s time to replace your tires!

Refresh your memory on how to jump a car

Get close but don’t let the cars touch; find the terminals on each battery, they will be covered in either red or black, with a + or – sign on top. Line up positive with positive and negative with negative. Wipe a dirty battery clean with a rag or wire brush.

Keep your tires properly inflated

Did you know tire pressure can drop, losing up to one pound per square inch with every 10-degree drop in air temperature? Check your tire pressure to make sure your car has the proper amount of air.

Get your battery tested

The cold weather can make it harder for batteries to run. You can perform a volt test on your battery to see if it could be time for a new one soon. Or if the light has already come on your dashboard, it may be time to change it sooner rather than later.

Schedule an oil change

Did you know that the “W”, in say 10W-30 as an example, does not stand for “Weight”, it actually stands for “Winter”? Understanding what the right oil is for your car in winter can be complicated. That’s why if you’re approaching an oil change, make sure you check with a certified mechanic. They’ll help you select the right thickness for your car to keep your engine’s moving parts lubricated.

Know what to do if you get stranded

Emergencies happen to the best of us. Make sure to light flares and place them behind your vehicle. Don’t wander from your car. Call for roadside assistance when necessary.

Update to a 50/50 Antifreeze mixture

Change your antifreeze to a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and distilled water. This ratio helps prevent freezing and boiling over during the cooler winter temps. Check with a mechanic and ask about what’s right for your car.

Preparing your vehicle for winter can spare you from headaches later on. MAPFRE Insurance can protect your vehicle further. If you’re located in Massachusetts, start a quote online. Otherwise, connect with an independent agent near you.

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