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How to Keep Your Vehicle Healthy During Winter Months

When the winter season rolls in, it brings with it a flurry of challenges for car owners. From icy roads to plummeting temperatures, your vehicle endures a lot. Ensuring that it’s properly maintained and equipped to handle the winter is not just a matter of convenience; it’s a safety necessity. Here’s how to keep your ride in top shape throughout the winter months.

Preparing your Vehicle for Winter

The first step in winter vehicle care is preparation. Cold months tax your car’s systems differently, which is why a thorough check-up is in order.

Check the Battery and Electrical System

Your car’s battery can be especially temperamental in cold weather, as it takes more power to start the engine. A full system check can prevent a dead battery from leaving you stranded.

Inspect the Tires and Consider Winter Tires

Tires with proper tread and inflation levels are crucial for maintaining traction. Additionally, if you live in an area with severe winter conditions, investing in winter tires can be a game-changer.

Top Up Fluids and Change Oil

Frozen windshield wiper fluid or low levels of antifreeze can be more than an inconvenience—they can be hazardous. Ensuring all your fluids are topped up and using the right winter-grade oil keeps your engine running smoothly.

Test the Heater, Defroster, and Wipers

A working heater and defroster are your allies against the cold, inside and outside your vehicle. Functional wipers with good-quality blades help maintain visibility in snowy or rainy conditions.

Ensure Proper Visibility with Clean Lights and Windows

Replace any burnt-out bulbs and keep your headlights and taillights clean. A clean windshield and all windows are essential for maintaining full visibility when driving.

Winter Driving Tips

Once your vehicle is prepped, it’s time to focus on the road. Winter weather can turn a routine commute into a treacherous journey, but with the right approach, you can stay safe and maintain control.

Slow Down and Maintain a Safe Distance

Reducing your speed gives you more time to react and reduces the likelihood of skidding. Always maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you to avoid collisions.

Be Cautious on Icy or Snowy Roads

Even with the best winter maintenance, ice and snow can create dangerous driving conditions. Drive particularly cautiously on bridges and overpasses, where ice often accumulates first.

Use Proper Braking Techniques

Know how to brake on icy roads. For vehicles without an anti-lock braking system, pumping the brakes gently offers better control. For those with ABS, apply firm, steady pressure to the brake pedal.

Be Prepared for Emergencies with a Winter Vehicle Kit

If you do get stuck or stranded, having a winter vehicle emergency kit on hand can be a lifesaver. This kit should include items like a warm blanket, a flashlight, a first-aid kit, and non-perishable snacks.


No matter how vigilant you are with your vehicle’s winter care, having a reliable partner for seasonal check-ups and any unforeseen repairs is invaluable. Michigan Auto and Tire is here to ensure that you and your vehicle are prepared to face the challenges of winter, with expert advice, maintenance, and top-quality products. Don’t let the winter freeze up your plans, come to Michigan Auto and Tire and ensure a safe and smooth ride all season long.

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