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Winter Car Care Tips

Winterize You Car | CarMax

Winter's only halfway over! Don't get left in the cold.

Follow these tips to keep your car in great shape through the winter months, whether you're buried in 5 feet of snow or live in a more balmy winter environment!

It may be the dead of winter, but it’s not too late to make sure your car is winter-proof. Just a few small habits can add longevity to your car AND possibly save you money on costly repairs in the long run.

Make sure your battery has boost

Cooler weather (even by just a few degrees) can cause your battery to lose a significant amount of its power — as much as 1/3 when temperatures drop below freezing. In addition, the starter may draw more current because a cold engine can be difficult to start. Keep in mind that the average battery lasts 3–5 years, and one of the easiest ways to prevent battery-related issues is to have your battery and electrical system checked twice a year by a service professional.

Show your tires some TLC

Good tires can help give you peace of mind, but they often go overlooked. Examine the tread of your tires for uneven wearing and sidewall nicks and cuts — if you notice signs of wear and tear, have your tires checked by a service professional. And don’t forget about tire pressure! Under-inflated tires make your engine work harder and use excess gasoline.

Keep up with regular maintenance

Your beloved vehicle sends warnings before conditions escalate into bigger problems. Pay attention to your dashboard gauges and warning lights. Even better, be proactive with preventive maintenance. Always use the recommended coolant type/mixture and consult your owner’s manual or the manufacturer website for the proper maintenance intervals. Use winter-blend washer solution when refilling the windshield washer reservoir. While you’re under the hood, examine the radiator and heater hoses for cracks or leaks. Make sure to consult with a service professional if anything looks out of line.

Keeping your car in great shape through the winter months doesn’t have to be overwhelming, no matter where you live. Routine engine checks and fluid changes can go a long way — long enough to carry you well into spring!

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