Winterizing Your Vehicle

A good winterizing program starts before winter gets here

Winter highway Winter highway

As summer fades into fall and winter approaches, it is important to ensure that your vehicle is prepared for reliable service all winter long. Colder temperatures affect most vehicles, which is why - and most people don’t think about this - it is important to winterize your vehicle. Simple tips can help you get started.

Replace Your Windshield Wipers

Rain, snow, mud, and salt residue coming off the road put windshield wipers to the test. With exposure to the elements, the rubber used in wiper blades gets hard and cracks; we’ve all experienced it. Install new wipers each year to ensure maximum visibility and your safety. Also, keep your windshield washer reservoir filled with an antifreeze windshield washing fluid. Standard washing fluid may freeze in the lines and reservoir.

Check Your Tires

Walk around your vehicle and check the tread and tire pressure of all four tires. The owner’s manual that came with your vehicle will give you specific instructions on how to check your tire pressure and remaining tread. If the tread is wearing down, consider purchasing new tires to maintain proper braking and handling - before the onset of winter.



Look After Your Battery

A battery that spent the night in the cold has less energy available to start your vehicle. This can lead to hard, sluggish, starts, or even a complete failure to get your vehicle going in the morning. In order to be sure your battery has the strength left to make it through the winter, have your battery voltage checked by a qualified mechanic. And while they’re at it, have them clean off any corrosion buildup around battery terminals and cables that can inhibit starting and leave you stranded at the most inopportune times.

Your Cooling System

Start with your coolant reservoir by making sure fluid is at the right level. Your cooling system should be filled with a mixture of antifreeze and water, typically in a 50/50 ratio. Maintaining the correct mixture protects your coolant from freezing even in conditions well below zero.  Check your owner's manual and use the specified antifreeze-to-water ratio. Also check the radiator pressure cap and rubber hoses to make sure there are no cracks or leaks.

Get a Full Synthetic Oil Change

As temperatures drop, motor oil thickens and becomes more difficult for your engine to pump. This can leave parts of your engine unprotected during cold starts. A quality full synthetic oil flows better at start-up, allowing it to reach critical engine parts faster in extreme cold conditions for better protection. Chevron Havoline® ProDS® Full Synthetic motor oils can be trusted to protect your engine from harsh winter environments.   



Fill up Your Tank

Maintaining a full tank of gas during winter months provides benefits. It helps reduce the chances of condensation developing in your fuel tank. Condensation in the fuel system can lead to corrosion and even engine damage. Refill your tank early and use a quality fuel additive with corrosion inhibitors and detergency to control the build-up of deposits, gum and varnish. Techron® High Mileage Fuel System Cleaner and Techron Powersports and Small Engine Fuel System Treatment are excellent choices. Also, if you were to get stranded, the fuel in your tank will allow you to run your heater while you wait for help.


Some simple winterizing tips brought to you by Chevron Havoline.


Sean Lantz
Sean Lantz is Chevron’s product technical specialist for North American passenger car motor oils and specialty products. He also provides technical support to Chevron’s ISOCLEAN and after market fuel additives programs. He holds an MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Merced and prior to joining Chevron lubricants he worked in automotive powertrain development and as a plant engineer.

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