It’s hard to believe October is here already, with winter and the holidays right around the corner. As you begin to check off your fall home maintenance list and plan ahead for the holiday season, our team at Suburban Auto Body wants to remind you not to forget your car. You should take several necessary auto maintenance steps ahead of the cold season to prepare your vehicle for snow and ice.

We’ve put together this guide to help you stay safer this winter while you’re on the road. Follow these steps, and then give us a call for all of your auto body repair needs.

1. Check Your Tires

Driving on bad tires is a recipe for disaster. Don’t take a risk by driving on old or damaged tires in icy or inclement weather. Doing so can significantly increase your chance of getting into a car accident. Take some time to examine the condition of the tread on your tires and replace them if necessary.

You should also make a habit of checking the tire pressure on your vehicles. Make sure the PSI is at the recommended levels, as cold weather can cause tires to contract.

2. Place Emergency Supplies in Your Car

You'll want to have everything you need for cold weather in your vehicle ahead of the winter. Be sure you have a flashlight and ice scraper handy. You’ll also need to ensure your car is ready for a breakdown in the cold weather.

Include cat litter or sand in case you get stuck in the snow. It’s also a good idea to stock an extra charging pack and cable for your phone. Stock emergency supplies like non-perishable food, blankets, matches, and flares. Finally, make sure your jack, spare tire, lug wrench, and jumper cables.

3. Add Antifreeze

Another crucial step to keeping your car winter-ready is to ensure you have the appropriate amount of antifreeze in your engine. The antifreeze can help protect it from freezing temperatures and can be handy to keep a container in your trunk once winter kicks in.

4. Change the Oil

The oil in your vehicle is a lifeline for your motor, and it works to lubricate the different parts to help them run smoothly. The colder temperatures can cause fluids in your vehicle to thicken, which means they won't function like normal.

Thick oil not only reduces the engine flow but can also affect the vehicle's energy efficiency because it takes longer to warm up, resulting in increased fuel consumption.

5. Get a Tune-Up

Getting a tune-up can help ensure that your engine has what it needs to perform effectively, and a few things to include are:

  • Make sure your battery life is in good condition.
  • Inspecting the brakes are functioning optimally.
  • Use a recommended fuel water remover to prevent water damage if you have fuel injectors.
  • Check your wiper blades to ensure they are performing well.
  • Inspect the defroster and heating system to ensure you can see clearly through your windshield and stay comfortable.
  • Checking all your fluids, including power steering, differential, transmission, and brake system.
  • Replacing the air cabin filter can help reduce harmful particulates from the vehicle while idling.

6. Replace Broken Lights

Minnesota winters can wreak havoc on the roads, so you want to be sure that if you have any burned-out lights on your vehicle, these are replaced. With shortened days and hazardous weather conditions, having a vehicle with functional lights will help other drivers to be able to see you more easily.

7. Have Items to Keep the Car from Freezing Shut 

No one likes dealing with a cold winter morning and finding your vehicle is frozen shut. Another winterization tip is ensuring you have a lubricant for the vehicle's keyhole to keep it easy to use. You can also purchase a silicone lubricant for the weatherstripping in the doors to prevent them from sticking.

8. Repair Body Damage

If your car has minor damage you have been putting off getting repaired, take some time out to get it taken care of now. Waiting until after winter can cause problems where paint is missing. If you’re concerned about time spent without your vehicle, we offer our Suburban EZ program to make the process go more smoothly.

Contact Our St. Paul Auto Body and Collision Repair Team

With winter coming soon, take advantage of the last days of fall to get your car in shape for the colder weather ahead. At Suburban Auto Body, we make the process painless with key-to-key service, loaner cars, and a “go-to guy” to keep you in the loop throughout the repair.

To schedule your Suburban EZ services, give us a call at 651-633-8900 or connect with us online for a free quote on your auto body repair.