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10 Essential Tips to Get Your Car Winter-Ready

Main photo credit: Scharfsinn / Shutterstock.com

Winter – and the accompanying winter weather – reliably rolls around every single year, though you’d think it was a surprise judging by the reactions of some drivers out there. Luckily, it’s simple enough to make sure you’re properly prepared once those inevitable blasts of ice and snow hit. So, as we head into another winter driving season, AutoGuide has teamed with #eBayEdits tastemaker and auto expert Nhu Nguyen to share her winter vehicle preparation tips, for both those uncharted winter road trips as well as anyone prepping their car for winter storage.

As eBay’s resident parts and auto expert, Nhu has highlighted essential road trip supplies and auto parts available through eBay.ca. Below are a few easy tips that rookie drivers and auto enthusiasts alike can build into their routines as they gear up for winter conditions and maintenance.

eBay’s resident parts & auto expert Nhu Nguyen

eBay’s resident parts and auto expert Nhu Nguyen

Tips for preparing your car for adventurous winter road trips

First things first, you’re going to want to check your tire pressure and ensure they are set accurately at each corner. The reasoning: inaccurate air pressure in your car’s tires will negatively affect traction and can make a big difference while clawing your way through winter driving conditions.

And, saying this one more time for those in the back: install winter tires on your vehicle. Yes, even if you live in a city! When weather conditions drop below 7° C, having winter tires on your car will drastically improve your vehicle’s traction, allowing you to tackle slushy, icy roads with confidence.

There’s no excuse for driving with hampered vision, says Nhu, and we’re inclined to agree. So, be sure to keep your windshield washer fluid reservoir filled and a spare bottle of the stuff in your trunk for emergencies. (Pro tip: invest in one specially formulated for winter use if you live in a climate that gets particularly harsh winters.) Because all the modern safety features and technology in the world are of little use if you can’t see where you’re going.

Adding winter windshield wiper fluid

Also along this line of thinking: check and replace your windshield wipers if necessary. It’s easy to forget this step in your winter vehicle preparation, but it’s a crucial one! Worn windshield wipers are no match for wintry weather and icy conditions.

Stuck sucks. Which is why storing a bag of cat litter in your trunk can come in handy—even if you don’t have a pet. That’s because putting down a layer of litter can help your car gain traction if you accidentally get your tires stuck in snow or on ice, providing your vehicle with just enough purchase to help get you out of a jam. Surprisingly, it can also absorb moisture inside your vehicle to prevent windows from fogging up, according to Nhu.

Traction is everything when it comes to winter driving

Nhu also recommends keeping booster cables and an emergency kit in your car at all times. And if you don’t have them, get them; you never know when you may need them, or when you’ll come across someone else requiring assistance, allowing you to play Good Samaritan, and save another driver’s day. Check out Nhu’s curated edits on ebay.ca/ebayedits to find these and other winter auto essentials to keep in your trunk!

One more key item to keep on hand: having multiple air-activated hand warmers can prove helpful in case of emergency, or if you end up facing an extended period of time stuck in the cold. This might seem like overkill, but these things can literally be lifesavers if one finds themselves trapped in their car waiting for a tow and/or emergency assistance. In other words, the potential benefits far outweigh the tiny amount of space they’ll take up in your centre console.

Tips for your whip’s winter storage and hibernation

Not every machine gets called upon to claw its way through the ice and snow each winter. Some are lucky enough to be tucked away in a garage or long-term storage area, shielded from the cold weather until springtime rolls around. That said, there are a few extra steps you’ll want to take before shutting your car down for the season, according to Nhu.

Ever leave a flower pot or fire pit in the same spot too long in your backyard, only to find a flattened patch of grass in its place once you finally move it? The same exact thing can happen with the tires on your pride and joy. Overinflating your tires before storage will help prevent these flat spots, but always be cautious of maximum pressures. And don’t forget to reset before hitting the road come spring.

Overinflate your tires before storing your car for the winter

Two more important tips: invest in a fuel stabilizer to protect your fuel from degrading while your vehicle’s in hibernation mode. (As an added bonus, this can also help clean your fuel system in the process.) Similarly, you’ll want to use a battery maintainer or trickle charger to ensure your car’s battery doesn’t go flat during this period of extended inactivity.

And finally, remember: when it comes to winter driving products like the ones listed above, you can always find great selections from trusted brands on eBay.ca. With both new and gently-used options, no matter your price point, a marketplace like eBay can help you expand your auto toolbox—not just for winter driving, but year-round.

For more, visit eBay.ca.