Winter Road-Ready Checklist For Your Vehicle

Winter is here in Salt Lake County, making it extremely important to ensure your car is prepared to handle the elements. Here is a handy checklist to help you get started and let you know if it may be time to take your vehicle in and serviced.

Tire Pressure Check

No matter the age of your tires, ensure that they are inflated correctly for winter conditions. Cold weather conditions cause the air pressure in your tires to drop at a rate of approximately 1 PSI per 10 degrees, so remember to check your tire pressure regularly to ensure it stays at the recommended level set by the manufacturer. Don’t forget to check your spare.

Battery Check

The chemical reactions required to create power in an automobile’s battery slow down in freezing temperatures, and your vehicle needs more current from the battery to start the engine. To avoid a vehicle that won’t start on a freezing morning, run a battery load test to see if your battery has adequate juice. Check the battery for cables and terminals with cracks, and ensure the fluid is filled to the cap’s top.

Fill Wiper Fluid

Driving in the winter is hard enough. Reduce visibility is only going to make it worse. Ensuring you have enough wiper fluid is crucial in keeping your windshield free of ice, snow, salt, and even mud. Make sure to use freeze-resistant wiper fluid.

Inspect & Maybe Replace Tires

Tires with treads that are worn are severe hazards in winter conditions. Being that Salt Lake County, an area that experiences snowfall, consider getting snow tires. These tires are assembled of a soft rubber that remains flexible in colder temperatures and includes treads made to grip ice and snow. If you happen to have all-season tires, ensure you have at least 5/32″ for the best traction during the winter. If your tread is smaller than 2/32″, they should be replaced regardless of season, as your tires offer practically zero traction in snow and are prone to hydroplaning in the rain.

Coolant Check

Traditional coolant will need to be a proper 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water to prevent the fluid from freezing in your vehicle’s radiator. You can check the ratio using a testing kit, which can be found at any auto parts store, and fill the correct mixture up to the full line.

These are just a few things to check off your list to ensure your vehicle is winter road-ready, and if you don’t have the time or confidence to judge yourself, head over to your local Salt Lake County auto repair shop and have them run through a quick check.

Hinckley Automotive offers comprehensive auto repair, replacement & diagnosis in Salt Lake County. Ensure your vehicle is winter road-ready and have them check your suspension, tires, brakes, & more.Hinckley Auto is locally owned & operated and proud member of the Salt Lake County community.


As a mechanical engineer turned blogger, Charlie provides readers with a technical, yet accessible look into the world of automotive engineering and design. His insightful posts make complex car technologies understandable.