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Welcome to Subaru News, Suburb Service’s monthly blog! Subaru News is meant to educate, entertain, and engage you in monthly musings on such topics as auto mechanics, Subarus, travel, auto repair, and driving and living in the Lake Forest Park and Shoreline area. Our blogs are released on the first day of each month!

Winterizing Your Car: The Essential Steps to Ensure a Safe and Smooth Winter Drive

Photo by Tim Foster On Unsplash

Winterizing Your Car: The Essential Steps to Ensure a Safe and Smooth Winter Drive

The chill in the air is undeniable. Trees are shedding their leaves, coffee shops are bringing out their holiday-themed lattes, and in Lake Forest Park, WA, residents are gearing up for another winter season. For many, this also means ensuring our trusty vehicles are up for the task. 

As experts in the world of automobiles, especially Subarus, we at Suburb Service know a thing or two about the importance of car winterization. It’s not just about keeping your car running; it’s about ensuring your safety, the safety of your passengers, and the longevity of your vehicle. 

In this article, we will touch upon vital winterization practices, focusing particularly on the role of tires in helping all car owners prep for the coming cold.

Why is Winterizing Essential?

Before diving into the details, it's important to understand why winterizing is so important. Temperatures drop, snow falls, and icy roads become a norm in many regions. This change in weather conditions directly affects how your vehicle operates. From your car battery to the wipers and especially the tires, every part of your vehicle responds differently to cold temperatures. Ensuring these components are in top shape is essential for your safety and that of other road users.

1. Check and Change Your Tires

Tires are the only part of your car that touches the ground, making them pivotal in ensuring a safe drive. Here's what to consider:

  • Tire Pressure: Cold air contracts, meaning tire pressure can drop significantly in lower temperatures. Always ensure your tires are inflated based on the manufacturer's recommended levels.
  • Tire Tread: The deeper the tread, the better your tires can grip slippery surfaces. A simple penny test can help determine whether it's time for a new set. Place a penny head down into the tire tread. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time for tire replacement.
  • Winter Tires: If you’re a Subaru owner, you already know the value of all-wheel drive in providing better traction. But even with this advantage, using winter tires can be a game-changer. They are specifically designed to perform better in cold, wet, and snowy conditions.

2. Check Your Battery

Cold temperatures can be brutal on your battery. It's harder for your battery to produce a charge in colder weather, and at the same time, your engine requires more power to start. Ensure your battery is in good condition and replace it if it's nearing the end of its life. At Suburb Service, our technicians can perform a quick battery check and recommend a replacement if necessary.

3. Replace Wipers and Fluids

Good visibility is paramount. Replace worn-out wipers and ensure your wiper fluid is full. Consider using a freeze-resistant wiper fluid for the winter months.

4. Check Your Antifreeze

Antifreeze, as the name suggests, ensures that the water in your engine doesn't freeze in cold temperatures. Ensure the mixture is right (typically a 50:50 mix of water and antifreeze) and that there are no leaks in your system.

5. Protect Your Exterior and Interior

Winter can be hard on your car's paint job, thanks to the salt and grime on the roads. Consider getting a wax job before the cold hits. For the interior, rubber floor mats can help protect against the water, salt, and mud that inevitably make their way inside.

6. Prepare an Emergency Kit

While preventive maintenance will drastically reduce the chances of unexpected issues, it’s always wise to be prepared.  An emergency kit with core items like a flashlight, blankets, first-aid kit, jumper cables, and some non-perishable food items can be a lifesaver in an emergency.

In Conclusion 

Winterizing your car is more than just a routine; it's an investment in your safety. If you’re in the Lake Forest Park, WA area, we invite you to let the experts at Suburb Service assist you in this process. 

Our years of experience, especially with Subarus, make us an ideal partner in your winter preparation. Please make an appointment with us for anything your Subaru needs. And remember to “Like”our Facebook page for the latest news! Suburb Service is at 15017 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park, WA 98155. We’re open Monday to Friday, 7 AM to 4 PM. All We Do Is Subaru.