What is a PreWinter Automotive Checklist?


Authored by Rodney Southern in Automotive 
Published on 09-26-2009

Your annual pre-winter checkup for your car is one of the most important things that you can do for the safety of your family. Failing to do this can cause problems that extend far beyond breaking down on the side of the road. Breaking down is bad enough, but there are dangers that are far worse such as carbon monoxide poisoning and blown out tires. Here are several things that you should add to your annual pre-winter checkup for your car:


Going into winter with a low battery or a battery that is not working in optimal condition is virtually begging for problems. Make sure that your mechanic not only checks the battery, but also checks the alternator to ensure your automotive safety. It is also important that the battery terminals be cleaned.

Belts and Hoses

The various hoses and belts underneath your hood are like the tendons of your muscles. If they’re worn down they are likely to break, snap and crumble. Check all belts and hoses for dry rot and any other kind of weakness.


Do not underestimate the safety importance of headlights, tail lights and dashboard lights during the wintertime. Winter often brings cold and snow, which in turn brings about visibility problems. It is absolutely vital that you have lights that are in good working order.


It goes without saying that tires with poor tread patterns are a safety hazard during the wintertime in particular. Check to be sure that the tread is deep, and that the tires are rotated. If you live in a heavy snow area, then you may want to make sure you have snow chains that are in good shape as well.


Each and every winter season you should change your windshield wipers for a new pair. The cost of a new set of windshield wipers is rather negligible when you consider the benefits.

Exhaust system

Your exhaust system is one of the most important things to check because the tiniest of leaks can be fatal. Carbon monoxide can easily leak into the passenger compartment if you’re exhaust is faulty. Spend the extra money to have every part of your exhaust system checked out.


Do not forget old faithful when it comes to your pre-winter checkup. You should also check your radiator and have it cleaned every other year. This will ensure that your vehicle continues to run in top shape. While you are checking this part of the car, it is also a good idea to have the thermostat checked.

Emergency kits

Preparing for winter involves more than just preparing your automobile. You should also ensure that you have plenty of supplies in the car in case of an emergency. Prepare an emergency kit that will provide for your safety that includes water, first aid kits, blankets, and other assorted safety related items.

Your annual pre-winter checkup is one of the most important things you can do for your family and their safety. It only takes one winter emergency to make you wish you had done it, and the peace of mind that comes with a safe car is priceless to say the least. Spend some time making sure you are ready for winter, and you can ride easy throughout the cold season this year.


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