With Old Man Winter blowing up storm after storm this year, you’re already wincing at your heating bill. Unfortunately, your car is also going to have some pretty significant costs to get it settled in for the season.
This article is a pair with Freezing Your Winter Car Spending: What Can Wait Until Spring. In our opinion, these are the things that just can’t wait any longer than they absolutely have to. These are safety-based. Your vehicle’s safety, your passenger’s safety and your safety will often end up relying on these particular pieces working well during the winter months. Don’t skimp. Start saving in July.
A good winter tire is one of the most important things for winter driving safety for those located in snowy or icy regions. Even when the weather is generally pretty balmy, it doesn’t hurt to grab some snow chains. Remember, even Florida has had it’s rare freak snow storms. No US state other than perhaps Hawaii is completely immune to a deep freeze.
When looking for winter tires, try to find ones with multiple year warranties. This means that if they dry rot through no fault of your own, they should be warrantied for the following winter. If not, you may be looking at a high cost for winter tires every year. Take a picture to document where you store them and take pictures often, preferably with a newspaper or your cell phone displaying the date within the shot. This helps “win” a warranty the store is fighting more often than not.
Heat/Air Conditioning System Checks
Sure, you can bundle up and try to keep warm even if your heater goes out. Everyone’s been in a situation where they just didn’t have the spare change to fix a broken car heater in the dead of winter. It happens. This is why we recommend having the entire HVAC system checked under the hood in autumn rather than winter.
When the weather is just brisk you probably won’t be relying on your defogger too much. That isn’t true when the snow and ice hit. Sure, you can scrape ice off of your windshield but what are you going to do when you’re on the interstate and your window starts to fog up and your blower is busted?
A simple, quick check will make sure that all of your HVAC system is in good shape and ready to drive the cold winter away.
We’ve talked about the importance of headlamps before, but this is a bit different. Yes the world is darker throughout the winter, with shortened sunlight hours. But did you also know that in many states it is absolutely required to have your headlights on during snow and rain downpours?
If your headlights aren’t working, get them to a shop now or start repairing them yourself before you get caught by a police officer with an eye for headlight trouble and end up with a hefty fine. It’s very easy to check your headlights at home. Just put your car in park, turn your headlights on and walk out in front of your car. Do the same for your turn signals and your brights, as these can end up with fines as well.