Winter vehicle maintenance checklist:

Prepare your vehicle for winter today.

Winter vehicle maintenance checklist: prepare yourself and your vehicle for winter driving.

Depending upon where you live, the transition between summer driving and winter driving can be immense.

Snow, ice, whiteouts, slush, frigid temperatures and dangerous roadway conditions can not only make it more difficult to get to your destination, but cause your vehicle to take a beating. While you can’t do much to avoid this -- except move to a warmer climate -- you can take steps to prepare both you and your vehicle for winter driving.

So, we put together a vehicle maintenance checklist for you. It’s not meant to cover everything -- just the essentials.

Follow this preventative maintenance checklist for added safety throughout winter.

  1. Be kind to your vehicle’s exterior as it must take on the harshness of winter directly. Before winter begins, apply some high-grade car wax (it’s worth the cost) to protect your car against road salt, ice, snow, freezing rain, sleet and other nuisances.
  2. Oil changes are a must on any seasonal preventative maintenance checklist. Use a multi-grade viscosity oil (refer to your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations) for winter driving.
  3. Bitter temperatures strain your battery. So, stop by one of our auto parts stores and we’ll test your battery for free. Advance Auto Parts carries a full line of quality auto parts and will install your new battery for no charge.
  4. The chill of winter can cause the rubber on your wiper blades to deteriorate quickly. Consider investing in blades designed for winter -- they make a big difference in your visibility. Buy a pair from us and we’ll put them on for free.
  5. Messy windshields can occur any day during winter. So, fill your windshield wiper fluid reserve to be ready.
  6. Winter driving puts a premium on tires with excellent gripping ability. So, inspect the depth of your tires. If it’s insufficient, replace them now (possibly with snow tires). Also, inflate your tires properly to enhance your traction.
  7. Check both the condition and level of your antifreeze. If necessary, either add more antifreeze or perform a flush-and-fill. Advance Auto Parts carries a variety of coolants that will work well for your vehicle.
  8. Just as winter is tough on the rubber on your wiper blades, it’s brutal on your belts and hoses, too. Look for signs of fraying and cracking with them, and replace as needed.
  9. You need your engine at its best for winter. So, evaluate the condition of your spark plugs, wires, distributor cap and rotor. A tune-up could mean better performance on those chilly days.
  10. If you get stuck on the road, you might have to endure hours before help arrives. So, create winter car survival kits. Include items such as flashlights, flares, blankets, snacks, jumper cables, first aid materials, ice scrapers and road salt or sand. You can purchase most of these items from Advance Auto Parts. In fact, we even carry ready-made winter car survival kits.

Need some advice about performing a task listed on our preventative maintenance checklist?

We can help. Stop by one of our auto parts stores and a knowledgeable associate will assist you.

Following this checklist can make it easier for your vehicle to get through winter -- and it’ll give you peace of mind in the process.

Count on Advance Auto Parts for the quality auto parts needed to complete your winter vehicle maintenance checklist.