10 Winter Car Safety Tips from Nelson

Winter isn’t QUITE here yet in Dallas, Texas. We’ve had a few days where the bitter, bitter cold had us experiencing wind chill temperatures of near 20 degrees! Whoa! So it sure feels like winter is just around the corner along with the holidays. Other parts of the country are already experiencing snow, ice, and other serious winter weather. If you’re not prepared, winter can really take a toll on your vehicle. With temps already dipping below freezing, now is the time to prepare your car for winter!

A lot of these tips you can take care of yourself, if you don’t want to spend the cash on a trip to your local garage. Anything you can do to be prepared in case of an emergency is beneficial. And everyone knows the potential for getting stuck in traffic or construction during those holiday road trips. You’ll rest much easier knowing your car can handle anything you task it with!


Don’t wait until the snow is knee high before you check out your vehicle. Cold weather is hard on engines, brakes, and gas tanks. Take care of these routine items now while the leaves are falling! This is even more important if you’re heading out on a long road trip for the holidays.


When was your last tune-up? If you’re scratching your head and thinking about that “inspect engine” light that has been on for months, you definitely need to schedule a trip to the mechanic. It is worth the money to get an inspection that might cover a lot of items on this list! What seems like routine wear on a car can actually be quite dangerous in poor driving conditions.


Check your tire tread and pressure! This is definitely one of those items you don’t want to skip. Poor tire pressure could mean your tires aren’t holding air like they should. Cold air naturally contracts, so chances are once the temp dips you need to pump some air. And tire tread! If they’re worn down too far, get a new pair for lots of solid traction on the road.


Consider putting a “winter emergency kit” in your vehicle. Flashlights, a blanket, and an extra pair of gloves might come in handy if you get stalled out in the cold. If you live in an area prone to snow and ice, consider adding a bag of kitty litter or sand to your kit. Hey, if never hurts to be prepared for anything!


This is the most basic element of auto maintenance you should handle on a regular basis.  We can’t stress how important it is to keep up with your oil changes to keep your oil clean and filters fresh. We want happy engines.


Have a technician check your brakes and replace any worn down brake pads or rotors. You don’t want to take a chance with those in winter weather. Squeaks or a jerking motion when you stop now could indicate the need for a replacement.


Test your defrosters and wipers to see that everything is in order and working properly. Over time, wipers just lose their ability to do their job. If they squeak or skip, or don’t make contact with your windshield, it’s time to snap on a new pair.


Have your battery tested as cold weather can magnify issues with connections. Pull up to any Auto Zone and they’ll check it out for you! If you have noticed your car has trouble starting in the chilly weather, this could be the problem.


Check your coolant to be sure that antifreeze is present in the system. You don’t have time for your engine overheating or freezing. Antifreeze makes sure that doesn’t happen!


Grab that old spray can in your garage and give a good shot to your locks and door opening mechanisms with a bit of WD-40. You’ll be so happy when it’s easy to open your car in the freezing weather!


Carry an extra phone charger or a portable battery designated just for your vehicle. You know that saying that bad things happen in threes? Well, you might have a flat tire and a dead phone at the same time. Throw that extra phone charger in your console, and you’ll be set up.

These tips may seem simple, but they might save you time and get you out of trouble quickly in an emergency situation. (Or at least make it a little easier to bear!) Get your car ready for winter now and enjoy the rest of your holiday season without any stress. Our friends over at AskPatty.com have even more holiday travel tips to make your season merry and bright.

If you decide to skip the road trip but need your vehicle, there’s still time to book holiday auto transport!

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