How I Winterize My Car For Less Than $100

How I Winterize My Car For Less Than $100 January 2, 2015

Every winter, I try to make sure my car is in shape for the ‘elements’ so I do a few bits of maintenance that I’ve found to be really beneficial. While $100 isn’t something that’s just lying around for everyone, it is a good investment for your vehicle to ensure that you won’t have to replace your engine and that it will last through the winter for many years to come.

Car Winterization Tips

    • Change Oil

Cost: $30

When I get an oil change in the winter, I make sure to have 5W30 oil put in the car. Most shops do that as a standard in the winter, but it’s always good to check. (Also, be sure to double check your car manufacturer’s suggestions.) The 5W30 oil is thinner, so it makes for easier starts and more fluidity. This is important in the winter especially because the colder something is, the harder it gets – so keeping fresh oil in your car is a must.

The shop I go to usually fills all my fluids and checks the air in my tires, which is really important because the colder it gets, the more air your tires lose.

    • Wiper Blades

Cost: $20

I like to get winter blades because they’re a little heavier and manage the snow and ice better. it’s good to get new blades every six months or so anyways, so I get the thicker blades in winter and regular in the spring and summer.

    • Keep Gas Tank Full

Cost: $5

This is a normal monthly budget item, so I won’t include the cost to fill a tank of gas in this list. I mention it, though, because some older vehicles can have frozen fuel lines if your gas tank is below a quarter of a tank. This can cause the car to not start in the mornings, which can be very frustrating. I try to keep my car at half way full and put in a bottle of HEET twice in the winter. heetYou can get 2-3 bottles for about $5 and it helps to remove water from your fuel to keep it from freezing.

    • Emergency Kit

Cost: $30

Most auto parts stores will have emergency kits for your vehicles which can be very helpful in case you ever have vehicle problems. These kits usually include: jumper cables, ‘fix-a-flat’, a blanket, gloves, tools, a flashlight, and even a flare for signaling. I actually need to pick up one of these kits this year for our second vehicle…so hopefully I won’t need any of this in the next couple of kit

    • Car Wash

Cost: $5

If you live in the north, you know how the salt for de-icing roads can really damage your car. Keep your car clean by running it through the car wash every month or so. This will not only keep the outside looking nice, but will clean out the salt from underneath – which can really have a harmful effect on your car.

Do you have a few things you do for your car every winter?

Image source: farrokhi

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  • dom

    thanks tim , all great ideas i also keep a container with paper towels and some peanut butter crackers and granola bars in it . just in case of a breakdown or something.

    • Tim

      That is a great idea Dom! I might be tempted to eat them on those mornings I get a late start on the day! Maybe I’d do better if it was in a box in the trunk or back seat :)

  • Roger Benge

    Great post however I think you left off one of the most important items. Radiator antifreeze. Antifreeze degrades over time and if it freezes it can ruin your engine. When i lived in a cold climate I check it every fall. You can purchase an antifreeze tester from an auto parts store for around $5.00. It will show you at what temp your coolant will freeze. I would keep mine at -10 deg or lower. if the tester showed a higher temp than that i would drain and replace with new antifreeze.

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