10 Tips to Prepare Your Car for Alabama’s Winter

Posted in Uncategorized on December 23, 2016.

A recent bitter cold front swept the country, bringing winter weather to most of the United States. After last season’s uncharacteristically warm winter, it seems snow is finally on the horizon. Are you prepared to handle any inclement weather on the road? Follow these tips to keep your car in top shape this winter season.

  1. Give It a Wax

If you live in an area where snow, sleet, and ice fall often, treat your vehicle to a pre-winter wax. Road salt is notoriously tough on your car’s exterior. A wax will help keep salt damage at bay and may help prevent rusting.

  1. Check Your Fluid Levels

Wiper fluid and deicer are cold-weather necessities to protect against frigid temps and slush-filled roads. Don’t neglect checking other fluid levels this winter season: radiator coolant, for example. If you’re losing coolant, you might have a leak. Make a point of checking your coolant at the beginning of each new season. If you’re unsure how to check, have your mechanic check your fluids at your next oil change.

  1. Install Rubber Mats

Salt and water wreak havoc on your car’s interior as well. Untreated car mats can become salt-stained and reek of mildew. Consider installing rubber mats to protect the fabric and keep your car smelling clean all season long.

  1. Check All Your Lights

If you don’t spend much time driving in the evening hours, chances are you haven’t used your headlights in a while. Summer blesses us with long days and extra hours of light, but winter is not so kind. Early sunsets bring more night driving, so be prepared. Check your headlights, brake lights, turn signal lights, high beams, fog lamps, and license plate bulbs. Replace any burned bulbs to avoid tickets and maximize your safety.

  1. Always Keep Your Gas Tank Half-Full

Bitter temps can do more than just freeze the water on the ground – it can also freeze your fuel lines. To avoid this costly scenario, always keep a little extra fuel in the tank to ensure there is plenty of gas in both your fuel lines and reservoir.

  1. Assemble Your Winter Survival Kit

Even if you live in an area that doesn’t see much inclement weather, it’s always better to be prepared. Keep a kit in your car that has all the essentials in case you’re stuck on the road – blankets, a first aid kit, waterproof matches, drinking water, snacks, and kitty litter or sand for traction. Keep the essentials in a duffel bag or hard top case in your trunk.

  1. Make an Emergency Plan

Think about what you’ll do if you’re stranded on the road in inclement weather. Consider writing down numbers of emergency contacts in case your phone battery dies.

  1. Check Your Tires

Tires should be inflated to an appropriate winter psi. If you’re unsure of what inflation is best for your vehicle, consult your owner’s manual. If you spend a lot of time driving in snowy weather, consider swapping out your current tires for a hardier snow version.

  1. Get Winter Grade Oil at Your Next Change

If you’re due for an oil change, ask your servicer to put a winter-grade oil in your vehicle. This helps your engine perform at its best in cold weather and preserves the life of your car.

  1. Get a Winter Tune-Up

To effectively protect against the elements in one fell swoop, check around your community for mechanics who offer winter-tune ups. They often include an oil change, tire rotation or alignment, checking and replacing fluids, and provide recommendations for additional work to keep you safe on the road all winter long.


If you’re involved in a crash and want to set up a free consultation with The Mitchell Law Firm, LLC, call our Birmingham accident attorneys today.