Preparing your car for winter weather

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You might be thinking it is too early to prepare your car for winter but right now is the best time to get it ready for the snow, ice and colder temperatures. You never know when the first ice or snow storm will come and preparing now can be a lifesaver.

winter car preparation

Regular Maintenance:

When is the last time you got an oil change? It might be a good idea to get one before the first snow comes. You want your car to be running in its best possible state during poor weather. Here is a checklist of maintenance you should get done now:

  • Check, change and top off the various fluids in your car:
    • oil, coolant, brake, windshield wiper fluids (freeze resistant!), and transmission fluids
  • Change out the various filters:
    • air, oil, and transmission filters
  • Get your brakes checked out. Are they in good condition? Icy conditions are easier to navigate with quality brakes
  • All your lights (headlights, brake lights, etc.) – easy to replace and low cost, there is no excuse to not have working lights.
  • Windshield wipers – if they are struggling to work in the rain, it might be a good time to get new windshield wipers for the winter
  • Interior maintenance – with the terrible weather coming, it’ll be a good idea to get rubber, slip resistant floor mats (at least for the driver seat)
  • Tires – You might consider getting winter tires to deal with the bad weather. At the very least, get them checked out for bad tread and make sure you keep tabs on your tire’s pressure. The different weather systems and air pressure can leave you with a flat tire even if there is nothing physically wrong with the tire. Your vehicle will handle better and you will get better gas mileage with properly pressurized tires.

Prepare an emergency kit:

It is always good to have an emergency kit in your car at all times but it is particularly important in the winter time.

Here are some items you should have in your winter emergency kit:

  • a blanket or jacket
  • jumper cables
  • a flashlight
  • chains
  • a first-aid kit
  • a small knife
  • flares
  • a couple of energy bars
  • water-resistant gloves (your regular wool gloves will quickly get soaked)
  • small snow shovel
  • waterproof matches
  • ice scraper
  • a bag of sand

To schedule your next auto maintenance appointment before the winter weather hits at AAMCO in either Merriam or Kansas City, Mo., call us today!


  1. ARCpoint Labs of Altamonte Springs

    November 19, 2012

    Very handy information, I need to put a more complete emergency roadside kit together now that I know what all I should have in it!

  2. D & R Autoworks

    November 20, 2012

    This week would be a great time to get this taken care of. The weather is supposed to be nice, and it would be good to complete maintenance on your vehicle before traveling for the holiday.

  3. Mega Media Xchange

    November 21, 2012

    Excellent information that I will have to forward to my staff. Thank you and keep up the great work!!

  4. Stay In Branson

    November 26, 2012

    I hate how fast windshield wipers go bad. They barely last 6 months and then they don’t work properly. However, whenever it rains, you always, ALWAYS wish you had new ones.

  5. David Wiesemann Remax

    November 26, 2012

    Thanks for providing a quick list of items to keep in your car during the winter. Personally, I like to keep more than one blanket in the car; typically my car holds couple blankets and at least a pair of sweats in the car along with everything else.

  6. Prestige One Landscaping

    November 27, 2012

    A few winters ago I drove around on some tires that needed to be looked at. Unfortunately, I didn’t check them out until I’d slid into a curb due to no traction. I had to spend $1,500 to replace a few broken pieces that HAD to be fixed to make the car derivable. New tires for $400 really made a lot more sense in the long run.

    • Kansas City Auto Repair

      December 11, 2012

      Thank you very much for this article. It will help me alot in the long run. The list of what to do to prepare was perfect. I am excited to learn more.

  7. J Todd Music Agency

    November 27, 2012

    Thanks for sharing these great car care tips! I would hate to be stranded on an icy road because I failed to make sure my car was in good condition for winter!

  8. Rizzen

    November 27, 2012

    The list of items for the emergency kit is a good idea. However, I’d also add in the cheap cat liter. This way, if it’s icy out when you are looking to get out of your car, you can sprinkle it on the ground and have a surer foot.

  9. Dollars and Homes

    November 28, 2012

    Nothing worse than your car not starting on a cold winter day, thanks for the advice!

  10. Plymouth Station Auto Center

    November 28, 2012

    Everyone should have an emergency kit in their vehicle at all times. I would suggest adding a small gas can, some water, and maybe an energy bar.

  11. Eurosport of Wayzata

    November 28, 2012

    Having proper lighting is really important during the winter. If you replace them yourself, make sure not to directly touch the bulb with your skin, use a sleeve or cloth to install it.

  12. Rabbit Creek

    November 29, 2012

    Keeping on top of maintaining your car is easy to do, as long as you take the time and put in a little bit of effort to do so. Good tips!

  13. FirsTrust Mortgage

    December 3, 2012

    It is going to be cold and snowy soon thanks for the reminder, great tips.

  14. Sallas Auto Repair

    December 4, 2012

    These are all really good tips to help people out. I hope this page is bookmarked to look back on later.

  15. Meyer’s Automotive

    December 7, 2012

    These are some great tips to keep your car free of problems throughout the winter. Great article!

  16. Climate Control

    December 7, 2012

    It’s always a great idea to stay prepared in the midwest. You never know when winter will strike! Thanks for the great tips!

  17. Leader One Financial

    December 10, 2012

    I always see people cars with low air in their tires. I’ve had so much tire trouble, I make sure I’m aware of my air levels constantly. Very good advice to keep safe this winter!

  18. Re/Max First

    December 10, 2012

    The cold weather is going to be coming soon. This was great information. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Gordon Energy

    December 10, 2012

    Thanks for the breakdown of a good emergency winter kit! I know this is something I haven’t ever done. I will definitely try and put this together this winter season

  20. Online Solutions

    December 11, 2012

    As far as I’m concerned winter is here, snow or no snow! Thanks for the great tips to prepare!

  21. Arcpoint Greenville NC

    December 14, 2012

    Great idea to keep an extra jacket or blanket available. You don’t want to be stuck in cold weather without it.

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