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How Do I Prepare My Vehicle For Winter?

Published on Jun 13, 2023 by Dylan Weiher

When the leaves begin to change colors and the cool winds of Fall roll in, the preparation of winter and snow is on the minds of most. Putting away the boat, wearing a coat again, savoring a pumpkin spiced latte are all typical things that most people do. Even though these things are a big part of our annual Fall ritual, another thing is often ignored, preparing your car for Winter. A significant portion of our lives revolves around vehicles, as you are probably already aware. They are the reason we can get to work, school, and to all of life’s adventures. This is why it is very important to prepare your car, truck, or SUV for the Winter season. 

 

We will review a few common questions we hear at the service departments in the section below. To answer these questions, we asked Brandon Johnson, one of the certified Kunes service specialists. Since Brandon has been in this position for over 12 years, he gave us valuable insight on how to prepare your car for Winter.

 

What are some things I can do to prepare my vehicle for Winter?

  • Tires

They are the first line of defense between your vehicle and a slippery road surface. A tire’s tread depth of less than 5/32″ is recommended for replacement by our tire experts. In the summer you can get by until 3/32” tread, but not in the winter. When snow, slush, and ice cover the roads, extra assurance will prove useful. It can help you to understand this by putting a penny upside down in your tire tread pattern. A new set of tires is needed if the tread pattern can’t cover at least a portion of President Lincoln’s forehead.

  • Battery

The battery in your vehicle is the heart of it. Without it, you are not going anywhere and your vehicle will not even turn on. As a result, you’re not only stuck, but you’re also without heat during the cold winter months. It is highly recommended to check your battery before winter. To ensure you won’t be stranded on a cold Winter day, replace it if it’s over four years old. 

  • Coolant

Make sure you check the coolant protection temperature to prevent it from freezing up in the winter. To ensure your engine will run at its peak performance when it is most needed, this step is crucial.

  • Wiper Blades

Every winter, you should install beam style wiper blades. These blades will help prevent ice build up. Beam blades have an infinite number of contact points and will hold up even in the harshest of weather. Some beam blades can last up to 3x longer than conventional blades! 

 

What are the main differences between Summer and Winter tires?

  • Tread

There is a big difference between the tread on these two types of tires. Unlike summer tires that often have snow filling the tread pattern and causing you to lose a lot of traction, winter tires are designed to dislodge snow and slush as you drive.

  • Grip

Winter tires are meant to keep grip even in below-freezing temperatures. They have specially designed siping and rubber to better cut through snow and grip the ice. These features are not found in summer tires and can be a big help when traveling in less than ideal conditions.

 

Notice how Abe Lincoln’s head is not covered at all? It’s time to get new tires!

What is the biggest benefit of winterizing your vehicle? 

  • Peace of mind

There is nothing worse than being stranded on the side of the road when it’s cold out. Take care of your vehicle and it will take care of you regardless of snowy, cold conditions. 

  • Protect your investment

By maintaining your vehicle before winter, you reduce your risk of needing major repairs if something goes wrong with it. Vehicles are among the most expensive purchases a person will make. You can prevent costly repairs down the road by taking preventive steps ahead of time. 

  • What you can avoid
    • Costly repairs
    • Being stranded
    • Accidents
    • Injury/Loss of life

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