Professional Auto Body winter preparation tips

May 5, 2015
tow hook eyelet
tow hook eyelet


Preparing for winter driving

  • Preparing yourself
    • Allow more time to get to your destination.
    • Increase the defensible space between you and the cars around you.
    • Snow is much slicker between 35 and 28 degrees than at a lower temperature
    • Look as you approach an intersection to make sure no one is sliding through it (good idea for year round defensive driving)
    • Be familiar with and use the safety systems designed in the car, i.e. traction control, stability control, anti-lock brakes, etc…
    • Clear all glass and lights before starting your journey.
    • If you are in a pile up stay in your car, buckled up! It is by far the safest place to be
  • Consider a winter driving course
    • Check out Bridgestone Winter Driving School


Preparing your car

    • Tires
      • Check your tread depth (penny test). If in doubt, replace the tires for winter and re-use your current tires for summer.
      • Check your air pressure (do not fill to maximum load P.S.I. unless you are carrying the maximum load)
      • Check your spare!! and make sure you have the tools (including wheel locks) to change a tire
  • Check your cooling system
    • Check for leaks
    • Is the fluid clean and free of contaminants?
    • Check freezing and boiling points of fluid
  • Windshield
    • Rain X your windshield and headlights for the sheeting properties and to have clear vision
    • Clean you wipers with rubbing alcohol or replace with a soft compound blade
    • Check your washer fluid and replace with Rain X or an ice melting formula
  • Battery
    • Have it load checked to make sure it will crank in extreme weather.
    • Check the terminal cable for corrosion
  • Use weight if rear wheel drive
    • Use sand tubes, do not use anything that may become a missile in the event of an accident.


  • Equipment to have in the car
    • Flashlight (headlight is better)
    • Tow strap (and know how to use it)
      • Do not hook on to any suspension or bumper parts. Use a trailer hitch, tow hood or, in most cases, the factory eyelet that has to be attached. 
      • The eyelet is usually stored in the spare tire change kit
  • Shovel (avalanche shovels work well)
  • Kitty litter (works best) or sand
  • Flares
  • Outerwear (boots, gloves, hat, snow pants, heavy jacket
  • Jumper cables
  • Non-perishable foods
  • Water
  • Matches or lighter
  • Sterno can to melt water (use outside of car only)
  • Make sure your keep your gas tank reasonably full




  • If you become stranded
    • Always let someone know your route and ETA. Do not vary the route unless you let someone know your alternate plans.
    • Stay with your car
      • Put bright colored cloth on antenna or other areas that might be seen.
      • If you have a dark colored car, clean the snow off of it so it can be seen from the air (and for possible solar heat)
      • Run your car for sparingly for heat and possible news of a search for you
        • Make sure your tailpipe is clear of snow.
        • Do not burn anything in the interior of your car
        • Consider an outside shelter (snow cave, a lean-to made of dark timber) so you can light a fire for warmth and signal.



I totally agree that one of the things you need to regularly check to keep your car well-maintained is the tires. It is advisable to always follow the recommended tire pressure indicated in the owner's manual. This way, you would ensure a smooth and balanced ride. Also, you may want to check the tread for any signs of wear and tear. A quick visit to a certified tire mechanic would let you know if your tires need repair or a replacement. I would make sure to keep this in mind. Thanks.
By: Bobby Saint on November 24, 2017

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