How to Prep Your Small Car for the Winter


Photo – California Car Cover

There will be many changes coming soon since the seasons are changing and winter is just about upon us. If you normally drive an SUV, truck or sedan, then you probably do not change much; if you’re in a smaller vehicle such as a sports car that has rear-wheel drive, then changes will probably need to be made.

Especially for sports cars and other low-clearance vehicles, the best bet is to store it during the snowy months.  Some people even put their smaller cars into garages for the winter and choose to drive something with a bit more traction and oomph during the winter season. However, some people only have one car to drive throughout the year, so if that’s you and garaging your small car isn’t an option, the changing seasons means switching the wipers and changing out the summer tires for beefier winter tires that provide more traction.

Check out some things you should do before the snow starts falling in Minnesota this year.  For more detailed info, see our earlier post on winter car preparation.

Check the Tires on Your Small Car

Do not drive on the snow with worn-out tires, so make sure to check them! You can always do the penny test to make sure they have enough tread. Turn the penny upside down and then stick it in the tread and if you can see Lincoln’s head, then the tires need to be replaced. All-season or winter tires should be used when the snow falls – not summer slick ones. Tire chains might also be a possibility if you live in an area that gets snow and ice pretty bad. Deflate some of the air from the tires to give them a nice flat, sticky grip on the otherwise icy road.

Check Your Vehicle Fluids as Well

A lot of times this is not the first thing people think of when prepping a car for winter driving. Antifreeze should be placed in the radiator and windshield washer fluid should be an anti-ice choice. Brake fluid is another, though does not need to be changed all the time but should still be looked into. You might want to think about an engine block heater if your engine seems to be too cold to start when the snow starts flying.

The Battery

Make sure to check the battery life since batteries can die in cold weather. If you’re thinking it might make it through the winter then you might want to have it charged or to buy a new one. Make sure to give your alternator and starter a check as well now that you’re here.

The Other Stuff

Windshield wipers are a must when it comes to checking your car over. You want to know that it will remove the build-up and not just glide right on over it. Get a de-icer to keep on hand as well so that you can get to the key hole or other area if needed. A scraper and snow brush are both good to have in your vehicle to make visibility that much easier. Always keep a first aid kit handy for those times when you slide off the road and are waiting for someone to come save you – you need this in order to be saved. Kitty litter is able to give you traction when you need it on icy roads, so if you have some along for the ride then you should be okay to slide over that ice with grace.

Here at Skip Chips, we are able to help you choose the right protection for the winter months for your vehicle. Anything can happen and you want to ensure that your car is ready to go and to take on the flying snow and whatever else might come your way.