As we approach the winter months here in the Metro you probably notice yourself making some changes. You turn the heater on in your home, swap out your short-sleeve shirt for a sweater, and switch from cold brew back to drip coffee. One place you might not think to make those seasonal adjustments though is your vehicle. However, no matter how much you might not like it, winter is right around the bend and taking a few extra precautions can make your drives during the season much safer.

Let It Out

Most people have a one-size-fits-all attitude when it comes to tires – you purchase a set and make sure they are all at roughly the same pressure. Like your wardrobe, your tires should change with the seasons.

When you are out driving on the tricky winter roads, you will find that you need a bit more grip than you would during the hotter months of the year. In order to achieve this, find out what your tires’ minimum recommended inflation is – either in your vehicle’s manual or online through a manufacturer’s website – and adjust them accordingly. This will help to make them a bit more malleable so that they can conform to the icy, cracked streets.

Prepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best

If your car does not have an emergency supply kit, now is the time to put one together. Like any emergency supply kit, it should have the essentials: food, bottled water, blankets, a flashlight, extra batteries, and some first aid materials such as bandages and disinfectant. If you want to go the extra mile, consider adding supplies for your car. Jumper cables, a tow rope, windshield scraper, extra gas, and a shovel are items that nobody wants to leave their car to use in a snowstorm. When push comes to shove – literally in some cases – it’s better to have them in tow than actually calling to pay for a tow.

Your Vehicle Could Use a Checkup

Before the snow and slush hit, bring your vehicle for its winter checkup. A certified technician can tell you everything that is wrong with your vehicle now to keep you safe going forward. Whether that means updating your breaks, checking your tire tread, or making sure your heater reaches the surface-of-the-sun temperature that keeps you toasty, getting these repairs done now will save you from the excruciating wait times that you will face trying to get your car serviced in the winter.

So Fresh and So Clean

Keep your car as clean as possible during the winter. It should not come as a surprise, but the salt, sand, and chemicals used to break down the winter buildup can also work its magic or your car’s paint job – and not in a good way. These elements can have a corrosive effect that can dull, or in some cases remove your vehicle’s paint. The easiest way to avoid this is by splurging on a professional car wash twice a month. Or, for those brave enough, spending a frosty morning outside cleaning your ride by hand.

If you want more tips on how to winterize your vehicle, or you need help prepping it, call or visit your local Inter-Tech Collision Center today.