As the weather cools down and snow is in the forecast, there’s more to getting winter ready than just turning on the heat and buying a new heavy coat. From preparing your home and landscaping to getting your car ready for the cold air, there’s always something to do before Jack Frost makes his first visit. Perhaps the most important thing you can do to ensure you’re ready for winter is to put your belongings through a winterization process. Batten down the hatches, check the windows on your home, and make sure your car is 100% ready for all that winter travel.

Even though it may seem like a lot of work, keeping your car running smoothly during the winter can be the difference between a smooth ride and one that is dangerous for you and your family. The last thing you want to happen is to slip and slide on the ice and snow when your loved ones are in the car. Following a thorough winterization routine as recommended by the International Carwash Associationcan, can keep your car running smoothly all year long.

WaterSavers Makes it Easy to Winterize Your Car

Whether you live in an exceptionally cold climate or it only gets cold for a few weeks out of the year, there are things you need to do to ensure the life and functionality of your car. WaterSavers recommends a strict winterization method for any car that will be on the road this winter. After speaking with your local mechanic, it’s almost always recommended to switch to different oil before the cold sets in. Although it may be okay to use thicker oil during the summer, a thinner consistency will move more freely through your engine as the cold winter air is in the forecast.

Just because it’s chilly doesn’t mean your engine can’t overheat. To protect your engine against corrosion and to help ensure it doesn’t overheat, ask your car technician to change to a coolant with ethylene glycol which has antifreeze properties. While replacing coolants, ask the technician to make sure all fluids are topped off, particularly window washer solution. All the extra salt and dirt on the roads can coat your windshield make it impossible to see out of if your window fluid doesn’t work because it’s frozen.

Tires! If you live in an area where winter means driving in snow and ice, it’s critical to check your tires to keep you and your passengers safe. Each tire should have an adequate amount of tread to properly grip the road. You can easily see if new tires are needed with the penny test — hold a penny head down in the center tread. If you see the top of Lincoln’s head, you have less than 2/32-inch tread and it’s time for new tires.  Also be sure to your tires are properly inflated to ensure optimum handling, safety, and fuel efficiency.

Similarly, the cold makes it harder and harder for your car to start. If you suspect you may need to have your battery replaced, it’s best to check before the deep freeze sets in. Check the cables, terminals and fluid and look for anything abnormal. Some battery retailers will conduct a complimentary car battery assessment if you’d prefer an expert analysis.  If for some reason it isn’t in top shape, it’s best to replace it for an affordable rate than risk your car not starting on the coldest day of the year.

Getting your tires checked and switched over to something appropriate for your local driving conditions is the next most imperative step you can take. Slipping and sliding on snow and ice is not only scary, but it can cause damage to your car or passengers. The last thing you want to do is spinout as you go over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house.  Make sure your tires are properly aired and have the right amount of tread. As temperatures fluctuate, so can the air in your tires. Make sure to keep a pump on hand in case an exceptionally cold morning leaves them too low to drive safely. If you suspect the tread on your tires is too low, use the penny test to determine if new ones are in order. What you ask is the “Penny Test”? It’s simple: Place a penny in the center tread and if Lincoln’s head is visible, make an appointment with your tire place.

Trust WaterSavers for Your Car Care Initiatives

Not only does WaterSavers give you the best information for winterizing your car, but they also have the best car wash programs around. Even though most people don’t think of the winter as the right time to give their ride a bath, it’s actually more important than ever to keep your car clean during the winter. Once you’ve started the winterization process, stopping by a local WaterSavers car wash to get rid of dirt and grime and put a protective wax over your car is important. This will protect your paint from salt, sand, and other hazardous road chemicals. The WaterSavers initiative uses 40 gallons less water for each car wash than a traditional car wash. Plus, there are more than 1,500 environmentally friendly car washes around the world that participate.

When you participate in the WaterSavers initiative, you will not only be giving back to the environment, but they’ll be giving back to you! The WaterSavers giveaway lets us make sure you know how much you’re appreciated for doing your part. Giveaway winners will receive a large travel bag perfect for putting your winter emergency kit inside, a $30 Visa gift card, and a compass, flashlight key chain. Go to www.washwithwatersavers.com to find a location near you and enter to win!

 

 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Carwash Association. The opinions and text are all mine.