The change of seasons to months of snow and ice puts unique stresses on your car. But a few simple preparations can get it into prime condition before winter arrives, helping it withstand the colder months in better shape. Here are ten ways from K&S Car Wash to help your car see out the winter safely and without needing expensive repairs.

1) Tidy Up Leaves and Debris

Sweeping up fall’s leaves might be an annual chore in the yard, but it’s also important to remove fallen foliage from your car. Trapped leaves can become sodden by rain, start to rot, and clog up your windshield wiper mechanisms. They can also partially block the air intakes to risk overheating the engine or electric system, and a buildup under the wheel arches can trap winter grit and increase the risk of corrosion.   Once fall is finished and all the leaves have fallen, remove all the debris you can find, especially those that have found their way under the hood. Also use a high-pressure hose to reach right underneath your car for the most effective clearance.

2) Inspect Wiper Blades

Your windshield wipers will likely be working overtime in winter, so check the blades now to make sure they’re in good condition. If they’re looking worn or split, or if they’re leaving smears as they wipe, then replace them before the weather gets too harsh.

  3) Check Under the Hood

Pop opens the hood and take a quick look at the various hoses, belts, and connectors found underneath. If any look worn, discolored, or ragged, then it’s best to replace them now before freezing temperatures speed up the degradation. The cost will be small but can easily prevent much more expensive repairs caused by failed parts in the coldest times of the year.

4) Inspect Tires

Before fitting your winter tires, check them carefully for any balding spots, shallow treads, bulges, or blisters. Do this in plenty of time so you can replace or repair any faulty tires before the first icy snowfalls hit.

5) Top Up Antifreeze

Make sure both the coolant tank and windshield washer reservoir are topped up with antifreeze before the temperature dips below zero. It’s best to do this earlier rather than later, as a sudden cold snap can cause a lot of freezing damage in a surprisingly short time.

6) Add Fuel De-Icer

If the temperatures in your area get cold enough to warrant it, now’s also the time to add de-ice to the fuel tank. This will help prevent the buildup of ice, and will also improve performance when you first turn on the engine by keeping the gas flowing more easily.

7) Check All Exterior Lights

Check that all the exterior lights and turn signals are working correctly. Full visibility is more important than ever on a gloomy winter’s day.

8) Check the Heater

Before the mercury level falls too low, check that the heating system is fully operational, and that it’s not making any strange noises or blowing unusual odors into the interior. Don’t wait until you’re caught in a freezing traffic queue before finding out the heater can’t handle the conditions.

9) Inspect the Exhaust

Older cars can also benefit from having the exhaust system checked for leaks. Under cold winter conditions when the car windows are kept closed, any build-up of fumes inside the cabin can quickly become dangerous. The chances of such a problem are small, but the potential risk is high, so it pays to be cautious.

10) Stock Up on De-Icers and Scrapers

Lastly, make sure you have plenty of de-ice spray and ice scrapers in your car to make clearing the windshield easier on a frozen, dark morning. Keep spares in your trunk too, to make sure you’re not caught out when you’re away from home.   Every season puts its own pressures on your car. But following these ten tips from K&S Car Wash will get your vehicle in great condition for whatever winter throws at it, helping you to see spring arrive without drama.