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Tech tips

Winter car maintenance checklist: Do this now before winter arrives

Presented by CarShield - CarShield Cars Go Farther!

Presented by CarShield - CarShield Cars Go Farther!

Call 1-800-858-2550 and mention code KIM, or visit and use code KIM to save 20%.

Are you a stickler when it comes to maintenance on your car? Good! If you need some help, we’ve got you covered. Tap or click for five maintenance checks to do on your vehicle every month.

With winter around the corner, now is the time to double down on protective care. You don’t want to risk a serious problem on the road at the worst possible time.

The following are things to check on your vehicle before Old Man Winter officially arrives. Trust us when we say breaking down in sub-zero weather isn’t a great way to welcome the New Year. Let’s get it done.

This tip is brought to you by our sponsor, CarShield. Right now, you can save an extra 10% on a protection plan from CarShield. Call 800-858-2550 and mention code KIM, or visit and use code KIM to save 10%.

1. Get an inspection

We place this to-do above all else because an honest mechanic will likely be able to identify and diagnose anything that needs work immediately. Crisis: averted.

Your brakes, engine, exhaust system and alignment might need some work while you’re there. A complete tune-up is our top tip for staying safe this winter.

RELATED: How to get free stuff from your local auto shop

2. Replace your windshield wipers and fluid

Picture this: you’re driving in the middle of a snowstorm, only to find your wiper fluid depleted and your old wipers barely cutting through. Visibility is vital when driving in the snow, especially at night. Set yourself up for success with new blades and filling the fluid tank.

3. Change or replace your tires

Those living in the colder states already know how helpful a set of winter tires can be. Before it’s too late, ensure your winter tires are still usable.

You won’t be worried about tire pressure or run-down treads with a new set. This errand should be considered an absolute necessity if you live in a snowy area.

4. Check the battery

A dead battery is never anything we want to deal with. Aside from keeping your emergency road assistance card on you at all times, you can have your battery checked to see if it’s lost too much juice. It’s much easier to replace a dying battery in a warm shop than on the side of the road.

5. Wash it down

You probably don’t want to hand wash your vehicle in the middle of winter. But keeping it clean has several benefits you don’t want to miss out on.

A fresh, clean feeling at the beginning of the season is one way to keep things sleek. Try to wash your car after every significant snowstorm to prevent road salt from corroding the exterior if you can. And keep leaves and other junk from collecting on your car’s surface. These can get pretty nasty the longer they sit and rot.

6. Change your oil

Start this winter with a fresh oil change, which may prevent it from thickening and reducing the efficiency of your car’s engine. Most mechanics recommend an oil change every three months. Having an oil change at the start of each season is a great way to stay on schedule.

You may also like: 5 handy tools every driver should keep in the car

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