If you’re wondering how to save money on car insurance, one thing you might not have thought of before is winterizing your car. Through the simple process of getting your car ready for fall and winter, you can keep it functioning well in all types of weather. Here’s all you need to know about how to winterize a car and how it can save you on your insurance premiums.
Wondering How to Save Money on Car Insurance? Try Winterizing
If you’ve looked into how to save money on car insurance before, you’ve probably seen things like adding safety features to your car and bundling your policies. You might be wondering why winterizing a car never came up. That’s because, technically, there isn’t a discount specifically for winterizing a car.
That said, the maintenance and care you put into your car is an important way to keep yourself safe. Snow, slush, and ice account for 24% of weather-related car accidents each year. By keeping your car working well, you’ll minimize your chances of getting into an accident. And because safer drivers pay less in car insurance premiums, this will indirectly result in you saving big.
2021 Checklist to Winterize Your Car
Now that you know how winterizing your car can help you save on insurance, you might be wondering, “How should I be getting my car ready for fall and winter?” If so, this winterized car checklist is for you. It covers all of the things you need to do before cold weather hits. Let’s hit some of the high points.
1. Inspect Your Tire Tread (and Check the Pressure)
Winter is a bad time to have low tread on your tires. Tread is what helps to give you traction on the road, so with bald tires, you have a much higher chance of skidding out of control on a patch of ice or snow.
To check your tire tread, you can rely on the penny trick. Take a penny and insert it Abraham-Lincoln-side down into the tread. Ideally, the tread should cover up the top of Lincoln’s head. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, or there’s a gap between the head and the edge of the tire, it’s time for new tires.
Cold weather is also notorious for deflating tires. That’s why you should always keep a close eye on your tire pressure throughout winter. Top off your tires with more air if they drop after a particularly cold night.
2. Check Your Fluid Levels
Your car needs a lot of fluids to run smoothly! In particular, you’ll want to check on the oil, brake fluid, and coolant to make sure they’re high enough.
This is also the time you’ll want to add antifreeze to your system. Antifreeze works to lower the freezing point of the coolant in your engine. It’s vital for preventing your car from freezing up on really cold days.
3. Change Your Washer Fluid to Deicing Fluid
Another fluid to top off is your washer fluid. But rather than the typical mix you usually use, now is a good time to switch to deicing fluid.
Unlike the regular formula, which can often freeze on your windshield as soon as you spray it and lead to visibility issues, deicing fluid has a lower freezing temperature. This means it can help clear off your windshield without creating more of a mess.
While you’re doing this, also check to make sure your wiper blades are still in good condition. Replace if necessary.
4. Test Your Battery
Cold can also drain a battery, leaving you stranded. Even if your battery still works, if it’s nearing the end of its life, it may be better to replace it before it dies on you unexpectedly. You can test this at home if you have the right tools, but you’re probably better off taking your car into the shop to get their expert opinion on whether the battery can last through winter.
5. Test Your Headlights (and Taillights!)
Winter means we have less daylight and more darkness, so you need to make sure all of your lights are functioning well. Test your headlights to make sure they’re still bright enough to see, even in the middle of a snowstorm. You may want to clean the protective casing off using a special cleaner and brush to help them shine brighter.
While headlights help you see, your taillights help others see you! So don’t forget to check these as well. You may want to get help from a friend to also test brake lights and turn signals.
6. Put on Snow Tires
Snow tires are an excellent way to help make you safer in the winter. In fact, if you’re looking at how to save money on car insurance by winterizing your car, this is probably the best way. Winter tires come with special traction patterns that give you more control on snow and ice. They also stand up to the cold better than regular tires. They’re one of the smartest things you can do to stay safe on the road.
How Do I Build a Winter Safety Kit for My Car?
Building a winter safety kit for your car is an essential part of getting your car ready for fall and winter. You can use the items in the kit to stay warm, hydrated, and safe while you wait for help to arrive. Here’s what you’ll want to include in your kit:
- Equipment – Extra batteries, Duct tape, flashlight, foam tire sealant, hand tools, ice scraper, jumper cables, road flares or lights, snow shovel, Swiss army knife, tire chains, windshield cleaner, paper towels
- Personal – Blankets, extra clothing, gloves, hat, scarf, mobile phone charger, first aid kit, food and water
- Misc – Cat litter or sand, maps, radio
- The best way to store all of this stuff is in a tote in your backseat or trunk. That way, it’s easy to access everything in one place so you won’t have to dig around looking for what you need.
How to Save Money on Car Insurance with Freeway Insurance
Winterizing your car can improve your driving skills and increase your chances of staying safe on the road. A safe driver can always save money with Freeway Insurance. Receive a free quote online today, visit us or give us a call at 800-777-5620.