The following winter car care steps should be taken before the first snowfall of the winter season:

  • Give your vehicle a good waxing in the fall to protect the finish. It will also help the snow slide off better for easier cleaning.
  • Visit your vehicle maintenance provider and have the belts and hoses checked. They should all fit snugly and should not be cracked, glazed or frayed. It may also be a good idea to change your oil to one made specifically for sub-zero temperatures, as this type of oil makes it easier to start-up the vehicle in the winter and typically causes less wear and tear on the engine in the first few minutes after starting it up.
  • Keep track of the wear on your tires. Most accidents in the winter are caused by driver error and worn tires. If you are due for new tires, don’t wait until the middle of winter; get them replaced before the snow falls. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and that your spare is in good condition.

Also, check to see if your spark plugs and battery need replacing. You don’t want to have a stalled car in the dead of winter. If your battery is more than two years old, take it to your maintenance provider to have the charging system completely checked. Keep in mind that older car batteries are less likely to start in winter temperatures than newer ones.