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How Do I Prepare My Vehicle For Winter?

Published on Jun 14, 2023 by Dylan Weiher

When the leaves begin to change colors and the cool winds of Fall roll in, the preparation of Winter and snow is on the minds of most. Things like putting the boat away, wearing a coat again, and sipping a pumpkin spiced latte are common for most. Although these are a big part of our annual fall ritual, there is one thing that is often overlooked. That, of course, is preparing your car for Winter too! As you probably already know, vehicles are a very important part of our lives. They are the reason we can get to work, school, and to all of life’s adventures. This is why it is very important to prepare your car, truck, or SUV for the Winter season. 


In the section below, we will go over a few common questions we hear at our service departments. We asked Brandon Johnson, one of our many certified Kunes service experts. With over 12 years of experience in this position, Brandon has “seen it all” and gave us great insight on how to prepare your vehicle for Winter.


What are some things I can do to prepare my vehicle for Winter?

  • Tires
    • They are the first line of defense between your vehicle and a slippery road surface. Our tire experts recommend changing any tires that have 5/32” tread or less! In the summer you can get by until 3/32” tread, but not in the winter. When the snow, slush, and ice hit the roads, you will want the extra assurance. A trick to better understand this is to take a penny and insert it upside down in the tread pattern of your tire. If the tread pattern doesn’t cover at least a portion of President Lincoln’s forehead, it is time to get new tires!

  • Battery
    • A battery is the heart of your vehicle. Without it, you are not going anywhere and your vehicle will not even turn on. This means you are not only stuck, but you’re also without heat during the cold winter months. Our experts recommend having your battery checked before winter. If it’s over four years old, it might be time to consider replacing it to ensure you aren’t left stranded on a cold Winter day. 
  • Coolant
    • Check your coolant protection temperature to make sure it will not freeze up on you in the winter. This is imperative to ensure your engine runs at peak performance when you need it the most.
  • Wiper Blades
    • Every winter, you should install beam style wiper blades. These blades will help prevent ice build up. Beam blades have an infinite number of contact points and will hold up even in the harshest of weather. Some beam blades can last up to 3x longer than conventional blades! 

What are the main differences between Summer and Winter tires?

  • Tread
    • The tread on these two styles of tire are very different. The winter tire is designed to expel snow and slush as you drive, compared to a summer tire that will often have snow fill the tread pattern causing you to lose a lot of traction.

  • Grip
    • Winter tires are meant to keep grip even in below-freezing temperatures. They have specially designed siping and rubber to better cut through snow and grip the ice. These features are not found in summer tires and can be a big help when traveling in less than ideal conditions.


 Notice how Abe Lincoln’s head is not covered at all? It’s time to get new tires!

What is the biggest benefit of winterizing your vehicle?

  • Peace of mind
    • There is nothing worse than being stranded on the side of the road when it’s cold out. Take care of your vehicle and it will take care of you regardless of snowy, cold conditions. 

  • Protect your investment
    • By taking care of your vehicle before winter, you lower your risk of needing major work done in the event something happens to your vehicle. Buying a vehicle is one of the biggest purchases a person can make. Small preventive measures taken ahead of time can save you from costly repairs down the road. 
  • What you can avoid
    • Costly repairs
    • Being stranded
    • Accidents
    • Injury/Loss of life

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