From heavy snowfall to icy roads, harsh winter weather takes a toll on both the interior and exterior of your car. To keep it running through the season without unexpected breakdowns, performing maintenance in advance is necessary. If you are unsure of where to begin, auto repair professionals recommend these three tips.

How to Winterize a Vehicle

1. Check the Tire Pressure

Each time the temperature outside drops ten degrees, the tire pressure also drops between one and two pounds per square inch. Since driving on deflated tires can cause them to blow out and hinder your ability to steer, auto repair professionals recommend checking the pressure once a month with a gauge.

Auto RepairThis is done by opening the tire’s air valve cap and attaching the gauge to its stem. You can then get a reading of the tire’s pounds per square inch (PSI).

2. Top-Off the Antifreeze

Antifreeze is a fluid made from ethylene glycol that is released into the engine to regulate its operating temperature. Although newer vehicles have built-in features that turn the engine off if there is no antifreeze, older ones without this technology are at risk for damaged head gaskets and overheating.

To keep your engine in good shape during the winter months, top off its reservoir with a mix of 50/50 ratio of antifreeze and water. This process should be repeated as advised by the manufacturer’s manual or an auto repair professional.

3. Replenish the Emergency Supplies

Winter weather can be unpredictable at times. If you ever find yourself stuck due to unexpected car trouble in a snow or ice storm, it is important to have emergency supplies to keep you safe while you wait for a tow truck.

A warm blanket, gloves, and a hat will help you stay warm if you are no longer able to use your car’s heat. Additionally, an ice scraper, snow shovel, and sand can be helpful if you need to dig yourself out of heavy snow after losing tire traction on the road. 


If you need vehicle maintenance before the winter, contact Kalispell Alignment & Auto Repair in Kalispell, MT. With over 25 years of experience, this ASE®-certified team provides a wide variety of services, including brake repairs, wheel alignments, and tuneups at affordable prices. They also provide a 24-month, 24,000-mile NAPA warranty on all parts and services. Visit their website for more information about what they offer, or call (406) 755-0234 to schedule an appointment today.