Get your car ready for snowy weather

MONTGOMERY, AL - With heavy snowfall occurring in several parts of the country and a new storm expected to hit the deep south, the Car Care Council has some preventative advice that may help motorists avoid having vehicle trouble because of the winter conditions.

According to the Car Care Council, the following steps will help keep your vehicle out of winter trouble:

  • Clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system.
  • Check heaters, defrosters and wipers to ensure they are working properly.
  • Wiper blades that are cracked or torn, or don't properly clean your windshield should be replaced. Some manufacturers offer special winter blades.
  • Check the battery and charging system for optimum performance.
  • Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure. Tires lose pressure when temperatures drop.
  • The Car Care Council recommends changing your vehicle's engine oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles depending on your vehicle make and model, how you drive and the conditions in which you drive. Dirty oil can spell trouble in winter.
  • Check the brakes. This braking system is the vehicle's most important safety item and brakes are a normal wear item that sooner or later will need to be replaced.
  • Check the exhaust system for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.

The Car Care Council  also reminds drivers to:

  • Keep the gas tank half full at all times to decrease the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing.
  • Drivers should also check the tire pressure of the spare and pack an emergency kit with the following items: ice scraper and snow brush, jumper cables, flashlight, flares, blanket, extra clothes, candles/matches, bottled water, dry food snacks and needed medication.  

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the "Be Car Care Aware" consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council's Car Care Guide, which is now available electronically, or for more information, visit