Winter Care for You and Your Car


Winter is a great time for maintenance work! While it’s too cold to do much outside, it’s a great time to work on inside projects. This includes inside your car too! Do you have an adequate first aid kit inside your car? What about maintenance items? Do you have a winter emergency kit? We've put together some ideas to get you started.

First Aid Kit

  • Band-aids, antibiotic ointment and antiseptic spray are all good items to have on hand for scraps and cuts on the go.
  • Pain relievers, such as Advil or Tylenol, are important care items to always have on hand.
  • Motion Sickness Pills. Getting car sick is no fun! Dimenhydrinate relieves nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.
  • Specialty Items. What would YOUR family need? Contact solution? Infant or children specialty items? Allergy medication or epi-pen? Don’t just pack the status quo. Take your family’s personal needs into account when packing a first aid kit.

Maintenance Care

  • Check antifreeze. Now is a good time to get your coolant flushed and refilled.  However, if you don’t have time for that, at least check levels to make sure you have adequate coolant.
  • Check tires. Winter weather means ice, slush, and snow. Now is the time you need more traction than ever. Make sure to check your tire pressure regularly when it’s cold, at least once a month. It's also handy to keep a tire pressure gauge in your car.
  • Windshield wiper fluid. We just use more wiper fluid in the winter! So keep it filled, and remember never put anything besides wiper fluid in the reservoir. It won’t freeze!
  • Full gas tank. Cold weather can cause condensation in the gas tank, and water sinks to the bottom of your fuel tank. Because water is heavier than gas, letting your tank get too low can allow water into your engine and cause havoc. So in winter months, fill ‘er up, and keep an eye on the gas gauge.

Emergency Kit

  • Handwarmers. Head warmers can often be found at “dollar” stores, and simply require opening to activate.  If you’re stranded, these items can be a lifesaver, yet can be stored unused in your glove box or console indefinitely.
  • Jumper Cables. Cold weather is tough on batteries. Keep a set of jumper cables or a jump starter pack in your car just in case.
  • Roadside Flares. Winter weather means it gets dark early and even the days can be gray.  A flare can warm approaching vehicles that you are there and protect you from a collision. (But we’ll be there if you need us!)
  • Bag of sand or cat litter. Snowy roads can cause you to get stuck.  A little traction courtesy of sand or cat litter can be just the thing to get you safely going again.
  • Boots. No one likes to drive in winter boots. But pack them in the car even if you don’t want to wear them. Your feet will thank you if you have to change a tire, walk to safety or stand outside in the snow to flag down another vehicle.
  • Snow shovel, broom, and an ice scraper. Improvising when you really need it is tough.  Keep these items in the car just in case.

These are just a few ideas to get you thinking about what you can do to keep your car ready and maintained for Winter.  What items would you add to the list?

Kelly Keith