Mechanics say to winterize your vehicle before temperatures drop

Local mechanics say now is the time to winterize your vehicle if you haven't already this year.

Posted: Nov 18, 2018 9:46 PM
Updated: Nov 18, 2018 10:48 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- Local mechanics say now is the time to winterize your vehicle if you haven't already this year. This includes routine maintenance under the hood, and rotating your tires. 

"Winterization of a car is an important preventative maintenance that helps keep your car out of repair shops," said Randall Cleveland with Jiffy Lube. 

Winterizing tips 

Motor Oil

Choose the proper viscosity of motor oil for your car. This is even more important in cold weather.


Your tires lose pressure over time and they need to be checked periodically. Your tire pressure can also drop about 1psi for every 10 degree drop in the temperature. You may notice that tire light when the weather turns cold! Low tire pressure causes uneven tire wear and it also decreases your fuel economy.


When your car was new it was likely filled with a 50/50 mix of Antifreeze/coolant and water. This will give you a freeze protection of about -35. If you had to add water to your cooling system in an emergency, you will need to service your antifreeze before the cold weather begins. If you follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations on antifreeze service intervals you should be fine. However, your freeze protection is easy to check. Engine cooling systems can be dangerous so we recommend leaving this test to a service professional.


It’s always a good idea to make sure your battery is in good shape before winter sets in. There’s just about nothing worse than getting in your car in a parking lot when it’s zero outside and discovering a dead battery! Get that battery tested before it leaves you stranded!


Emergency Items


1) Water

2) Granola Bars 

3) Warm Blankets

4) First Aid Kit

5) Fire Extinguisher

6) Triangle Reflectors and Roadside Flares 

7) Waterproof Flashlight

8) Jumper Cables

9) Ice Scraper

10) Tire Pressure Gauge

11) Snow Shovel

12) Cat Litter or Sand – This is great to use as traction under your tires.

13) Duct Tape

14) Gloves

15) Rags

16) Tow Rope or Strap

17) Rain Gear 

Cleveland said the thing most people forget about is checking their antifreeze coolant. 

"Unknowingly to a lot of people, antifreeze coolant does lubricate and take care of several expensive components like your thermostat and your water pump," he said. 

But it's just as important to check your electrical system, and keep up on oil changes, making sure you're getting the right viscosity of oil for your car. 

"Your oil cap, your owners manual, or your local service professional will tell you what type of oil goes in your car," Cleveland said. 

On top of maintenance, there's a few things you should have in your car if you become stranded in winter weather. That includes blankets, jumper cables, ice scrapers, and reflective clothing. 

Cleveland said you should also have a flashlight, gloves, hats, and food and water. 

He said some people are worried a trip to the mechanic before the holidays could break the bank. 

"Whenever you can get around to it. When they tell me that, I say, 'Come back and see me as soon as you can," Cleveland said. 

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