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6 Car Care & Safety Tips For Winter Weather


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Carwash Association: WaterSavers. The opinions and text are all mine.


Our cars are investments. No matter the cost, any investment requires attention. For our family, its making sure our cars are clean and maintained from the paint, to the interior, to all mechanical systems. With the change of seasons also comes a change in environments that most cars will be handling.

For many people and with winter here, its time to really consider car care and maintenance for the harsh cold and wet conditions. We have had huge amounts of snowfall all across the country so its important to be prepared. Its also important to protect your car fro the harsh conditions and so its stays reliable not leaving your stranded need road-side assistance. But life happens, so being prepared is best.

With winter here, many of us are visiting family or taking trips to places where weather may be freezing. For us we want to enjoy the snow so we find ourselves driving 70 miles up to the San Bernardino Mountains for Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear. Our kids love to play in the snow and its just a great change of scenery. But when we get home the car is completely dirty with dirt, rocks, and grime.

While we do not have the ft of snow or layers of ice like many get during the Winter months, we still get rain and have some snow to encounter. Many of you get the full winter effect with freezing cold temperatures, salty roads, wet conditions and other challenges for drivers. Growing up in Oregon however especially living in mountains for some months to visit Grandpa and Grandma, I know about staying prepared. From keeping cars in top shape for the roads or keeping yourself ahead of potential problems by packing an emergency kit and jumper cables or preventative maintenance like getting a car wash to defend against ice, salt, sand and slush; being ready and prepared is key. For additional winter car care tips, visit carwash.org/watersavers.

For many the snow is a way of life right now, While we are having a good deal of rain, many are dealing with snow. No matter what the wet and cold conditions put a lot of wear on any vehicle.

We keep our cars winter-ready we rely on these tips:

  • Check Engine Coolant: Make sure your antifreeze coolant is up to date and at its proper level. Many people do not realize that antifreeze does have a life. Check with your vehicle manufacturer or shop with mileage and years your coolant should be replaced. It can vary from 36,000 miles to 100,000 or more or have a life of 3-5 years depending on make and model. Consult a mechanic.
  • Safe Tires: Make sure your tire tread is good using the penny test, Place a penny with lincoln’s head upside down and if you can see the top of his head, tread is low. Also visiting a local tire center can measure quickly. Also with cooler temperature comes lower tire pressure. When the air inside a tire gets cold, it gets denser and contracts causing the internal air pressure to decrease which can damage tires.

    Penny Test For Tire Tread Checking – If you can see his head and hair, replace. If You can see his head but not hair, replace soon.

  • Check Engine & Vehicle Fluids: Make sure the engine oil level is between the min and max mark (if applicable) and that your engine oil is not too old or have to many miles. Our house sticks with the 3,000 to 5,000 mile rule but we do a lot of dusty mountain freeway driving. Cold temperatures can also cause oil to thicken leading to potential starting problems. Fresh oil can help with easier starts in the cold months. Other fluids to check and/or change include: transmission, brake, and differentials (for AWD or rear-wheel drive).
  • Wax & Cleaning: One thing my husband always drags me out to help with is waxing the cars before wet nasty winter and hot summer months. Wax is important for protecting the paint and clear coat, especially during the winter months. It helps to protect against rain, ice, salt, sand and slush. Keep the underside and exterior clean by running through a car wash to prevent corrosion to metals, paints, etc. Check out a WaterSavers® Car Wash that not only saves water but provides everything for cleaning your car inside and out while using only 40 gallons (151.5 liters) or less of fresh water for each car wash, which is less than a load of laundry uses.
  • Check & Replace Windshield Wipers: Over time and especially in summer months, windshield wipes can wear out usually due to the sun and heat. Check your wipers to see if they are brittle or cracked, or even stiff. They should be smooth, bendable, and make no streaks on a clean windshield. With snow or when rain and water turn to ice, it is super important to have properly fitted wiper blades to keep your windshield clear. If any of these problems are noticeable, replace and be safe!
  • Keep An Emergency Kit: Be ready for most situations that can come up in winter weather. Keeping gloves, ice scrapper, shovel, salt or sand, warm clothing, blankets, jumper cables first-aid kit in your vehicle is easy and will help you out. If you have kids like us, we keep snacks and water.


Find out more about the environmental impact of car washes and how WaterSavers® Car Wash saves resources at Washwithwatersavers.com.

Find a location – http://www.carwash.org/watersavers/locations

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