Prepping Your Car for Winter Driving Conditions

Winter weather is here, and while snow and ice are less common in Chapel Hill than in other parts of the country, they can happen. If you have to venture out in the winter weather, you need to know that you are well prepared. Not only should you brush up on your winter driving skills, but you also should ensure that your car is well prepared for the cold. Here’s a checklist to prepare your car for cold weather.

1. Check the Battery

Cold is hard on batteries, so make sure you check it during the winter. If your battery is three or more years old, winter is a great time to simply replace it, so you aren’t stranded on a cold winter day without a working car battery. Remember, you may not have any warning when the battery is about to quit.

2. Check the Antifreeze

You can get by with filling the radiator with water in the summer, but not in the winter. Talk to your mechanic about the best blend for antifreeze for our area, but make sure the freeze point is well below the expected temperatures to protect your car.

3. Check the Brakes

Make sure your brakes are in good repair. If you do need to stop on slick roads, having brakes that are worn or not working properly will make the task even harder. Good working brakes are essential in winter weather.

4. Upgrade the Tires

If you anticipate some slick driving conditions, you’ll need tires with good traction. In the winter, always check the tire pressure and tread depth, and consider upgrading to all-weather or winter tires if you are going to face a number of slick roads.

5. Replace the Wiper Blades

Visibility can be a problem in the winter, and your wipers are one of the most important weapons to fight poor visibility. Change your wiper blades at the beginning of winter, and check the windshield wiper fluid to ensure it is the right type for winter weather.

6. Pack an Emergency Supply Kit

Finally, if you’re heading out in winter driving conditions, pack an emergency supply kit. This should contain a flashlight, blankets, food and water, flares and sand or kitty littler to give your tires traction. Keeping this in your car throughout the winter will ensure you have what you need to stay safe if you end up stranded on the side of a road during a winter weather event.


Remember, at Chapel Hill North Apartments, we don’t have to deal with extreme winter weather all that often, but there are occasional times when winter weather is a struggle. Do you have other tips to be prepared when you must drive during the winter? Share them in the comments!