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Car Maintenance Tips to Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter


Winter is hard on Indiana drivers and cars. The snow and ice—including black ice—present major problems for drivers who have to make daily winter commutes to work and who also need to carry out the day-to-day business of life: shuttling the kids to school, buying groceries, running other errands, and seeing family and friends.

A trusted mechanic or your car’s owner guide should be able to help guide you in preparing your car for Indiana’s winter weather. Wherever you are in Indiana, staying prepared throughout the winter season is important to keeping your vehicle in top condition when the temperatures drop, snow drops, and ice forms.

Preparing Your Car for Winter

The following are some tips for winterizing your car from the Indiana Department of Transportation as well as AAA:

  • Make sure that you use the right kind of oil in the cold. Otherwise, the cold weather affects the oil viscosity and your car may not function correctly.
  • Check the battery and belts/hoses. The cold can severely affect all three. Old batteries may need to be replaced. Consider this if it’s over three years old.
  • Make sure your windshield wipers are functioning. If not, replace them immediately. Check your windshield wiper fluid, too.  Visibility is severely reduced in some winter weather. You don’t want to add to that.
  • Always make sure your car can be seen in bad weather or on gray days. This requires your headlights and brake lights to be in good working order. Also make sure to keep the snow off of your headlights and brake lights so other drivers can see you. If the snow accumulates while driving, move to a safe spot to wipe them clean.
  • Make sure your tires have plenty of tread and keep chains in the car if needed.
  • Keep a car safety kit in a plastic container with secured lid. Put an extra phone charger and battery, flashlights and batteries, a medical kit, water bottles, non-perishable snacks, extra winter clothing including shoes, blankets and a sleeping bag, and pet supplies, among other items. All this can help keep you, your family, and pets safe until help arrives. Some of these items can also help you record the scene of your accident if another driver causes you to wreck. For instance, you can take photos with your phone.

The Driver That Hit You Didn’t Winterize His Vehicle

You took the necessary precautions and winterized your car, but not all drivers do. Driving a car that hasn’t been winterized may be a cause of your accident. In such cases, that poor maintenance may be evidence against the other driver if the poor maintenance – like tires with inadequate tread – contributed to or caused the accident.

Hensley Legal Group understands how the weather and vehicle maintenance can affect your car accident claim. If another driver caused your winter wreck in Indiana and the resultant injuries and damages, call Hensley Legal Group for a free case review.