auto zone winter driving

As a Houstonian, I rarely have to worry about snow or extreme winter temperatures. But my friends who live further north (particularly my Canadian friends). always share their stories of blizzards and freezing temperatures. They are especially concerned about making sure their cars survive the harsh winters.

As winter approaches, some basic maintenance should take place on your vehicle so that you’re prepared for winter driving in bad weather, reduced sunlight and poor road conditions. Doing this maintenance will ensure your vehicle runs reliably. Here are some simple precautions and maintenance tips to keep your car running smoothly this winter season.

Driving in winter with AutoZone

Battery power

This is an ideal time of year to make sure your battery’s posts and connections are corrosion-free and that your battery has all the water it needs. The best news? AutoZone performs battery checks for free, so stop by to have a technician test its ability to hold a charge. No one wants to get caught in a blizzard with a dead battery!

Blades of hazard

Windshield wiper blades work effectively for one year at most, and should really be replaced every six months. Be sure to invest in new blades when yours are cracked, cut, torn, streaking or chattering. Also, ensure your windshield washer fluid reservoir is full of washer fluid, and do not try to refill with water as it freezes in cooler months. Look for de-icer washer fluid at AutoZone to help break through snow and ice.

Oil it up

Oil sometimes thickens as it gets colder, and can’t lubricate your engine properly if too cool. Check your owner’s manual for guidance on which oil to use in different climates and temperatures.

The pressure’s on

It’s very important to check your tire pressure when temperatures drop. Tires must be properly inflated to maintain good winter driving traction, which is sometimes jeopardized in snowy, icy or even just wet conditions. Check your owner’s manual for target tire pressure.

It’s all in the mix

Try to have a 50-50 mix of antifreeze (coolant) and water inside your radiator. This mix will help prevent freezing even in outrageously cold temperatures. You can check the mixture with an inexpensive antifreeze tester from AutoZone. When at home, make sure to dispose of the old antifreeze properly. Consult with local authorities, as many areas accept used fluids as part of recycling programs.

Do you have four-wheel drive?

If so, now is a good time to ensure it’s working properly – especially since the cold climates are more likely to call for its use. Check to see that the system engages and disengages easily and that all drivers in your household know how and when to use it.

Wax on wax off

A waxing coat on your car can act as a deflector of snow and ice. It keeps the paint looking new and makes snow and ice easier to brush off.

In case of emergency

It’s always good to have an emergency winter driving kit readily available. Store your kit in the trunk during cooler months, especially if the season involves road trips for holiday travel. Your emergency kit may include:

  • a blanket

  • extra boots and gloves

  • an extra set of warm clothes

  • extra water and food, including hard candies

  • an ice scraper

  • a small shovel

  • a flashlight

  • flares

  • jumper cables

  • a tool kit

  • a tire gauge

  • a spare tire with air in it

  • tire-changing equipment

  • a first-aid kit

  • paper towels

  • a bag of abrasive material such as sand, salt or non-clumping kitty litter, which can provide additional traction if a tire gets stuck in snow.

To get you started on your winter driving preparation, I’d like to give one Mocha Dad reader a chance to win a $50 AutoZone Gift card.
winter driving
To enter the giveaway, answer the following question in the comments section:

How do you prepare for winter driving?

Additional Entries (These entries will be counted only after the required entry has been submitted)

  • Like AutoZone on Facebook (5 entries)
  • Sign up for the Mocha Dad Newsletter (5 extra entries)
  • Like Mocha Dad on Facebook (5 extra entries)
  • Follow @mochadad and @autozone on Twitter and share this tweet: Get winter driving tips from @autozone and enter to win a $50 gift card from @mochadad http://goo.gl/OjZFME #giveaway  (1 extra entry per tweet – 5 per day)
  • Share or leave a comment on any non-contest Mocha Dad post (1 extra entry for each share or comment – no limit)

Mocha Dad’s “AutoZone Winter Drive Tips and Gift Card  Giveaway” starts on Thursday, October 24, 2013 and ends on Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 11:59 a.m. (CST), and is open to all Mocha Dad readers, subscribers, and/or fans 18 years old and older in the continental U.S. No purchase required. Relatives and employees of Goodall Family Media are not eligible to win. You are also ineligible if you’ve won a prize from this website within the past 30 days. One (1) winner will be chosen via Random.org and announced soon after the ending date. You must leave your contact information to collect your prize. If a winner does not respond within 3 days, a new winner will be chosen. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received compensation and/or one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my website. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” All opinions are my own. Allow 3-6 weeks for giveaway fulfillment. While AutoZone has provided promotional support in the form of prizes, AutoZone is not sponsoring or administering the giveaway on this website. Prize value = $50.