How to Winterize a Car for West Virginia

December 1, 2023
West Virginia Car Winterizing

Winter driving in West Virginia can be challenging, with snowy and icy conditions making the roads dangerous for even the most skilled drivers. To ensure safe travels during this season, it’s important to properly winterize your car. This means taking necessary precautions, such as getting your car serviced and performing routine maintenance. In this guide, we’ll provide you with tips on how to winterize your car for safe driving in West Virginia.

Servicing Your Car for Winter

One of the first steps in winterizing your car is to take it to a professional mechanic. They will be able to thoroughly inspect your car and identify any potential issues that may make driving in the winter more dangerous.

They can also perform necessary repairs or maintenance, such as changing your oil and checking the antifreeze levels. The following should be checked, replaced, or serviced on your vehicle before winter hits:

  • Cooling system –  Your car’s cooling system is responsible for keeping your engine from overheating. During the winter, this system also helps regulate the temperature inside your car. It’s essential to have your cooling system checked and flushed if needed.
  • Battery – The cold weather can put a strain on your battery, so it’s crucial to have it tested before winter arrives. A mechanic can check its charge and replace it if necessary.
  • Tires – Your tires are your car’s first line of defense against the elements. Make sure they have enough tread to grip the road in snowy or icy conditions. Consider switching to winter tires, which are designed specifically for cold-weather driving.
  • Brakes – Properly functioning brakes are essential for safe driving, especially in wintery conditions. Have your brake pads and rotors checked to ensure they are in good condition.
  • Spark plugs –  Cold weather can affect your spark plugs, leading to misfires and other issues. Have them checked and replaced if needed to ensure the smooth operation of your engine.
  • Belts, hoses, wires, and cables –  These components can become brittle in colder temperatures, which could result in a breakdown. Have a mechanic check them to ensure they are in good condition.

Additional Winter Maintenance Tips

In addition to getting your car serviced, there are some other maintenance tasks you can do to prepare for winter driving in West Virginia. Here are a few tips:

Check your tires: Make sure your tires have enough tread and are properly inflated. This will help with traction on snowy or icy roads.

Replace wiper blades: Ensure that your wiper blades are in good condition and able to effectively clear your windshield during winter weather.

Keep an emergency kit: In case of any unexpected breakdowns or accidents, it’s important to have an emergency kit in your car. This should include items like a flashlight, blanket, first aid kit, and non-perishable snacks.

Building Your Automotive Snow Emergency Kit

In addition to servicing your vehicle, it is important to put together an emergency kit to keep in your car in case you are in an accident or stranded on the road due to poor driving conditions. In addition to what is listed above, here are some other items to consider adding to your emergency kit:

  • Shovel: In case you need to dig yourself out of a snowbank.
  • Ice scraper: To clear off ice and snow from your car’s windows.
  • Sand or cat litter: These can be used for traction if you get stuck in the snow.
  • Jumper cables: If your battery dies, you’ll need these to jump-start your car.
  • Portable cell phone charger: To ensure your phone battery doesn’t die in case of an emergency.
  • Water: In case you get stranded for an extended period of time.
  • Extra warm clothing: To keep yourself warm in case of a breakdown or accident.
  • Hand warmers:  These can provide warmth if you are stuck in the cold for a long period of time.
  • Extra batteries:  For emergency flashlights or other devices.
  • Road flares: In case you need to signal for help.

Should I Switch to Winter Tires?

One of drivers’ most common questions during winter is whether they should switch to winter tires or stick with all-season tires. While all-season tires are designed to handle various road conditions, they may not be suitable for extreme cold and snowy weather.

Winter tires have a different rubber compound that remains flexible in colder temperatures, allowing for improved traction on snowy or icy roads. If you live in an area with heavy snow and ice, it may be worth investing in a set of winter tires.

Consult a professional mechanic to determine the best option for your particular vehicle and driving habits.

What Should I Do If I’m in a Collision?

Despite taking all necessary precautions, accidents can still happen. If you find yourself in a collision, it’s crucial to know what steps to take to ensure your safety and the safety of others involved. Here are some things you should do:

Check for injuries: First and foremost, check yourself and others involved for any injuries. Call 911 immediately if anyone is seriously injured.

Move to a safe location: If possible, move your car to the side of the road or to a safe place away from traffic.

Contact authorities: Call the police and report the accident. They can help with any necessary medical attention and document the incident for insurance purposes.

Exchange information: Exchange contact and insurance information with other drivers involved in the collision. It’s also helpful to take photos of the damage and any relevant details.

Contact your insurance company: Let your insurance company know about the accident as soon as possible. They can guide you through the next steps and help with any necessary repairs.

Find the right repair shop: If your car needs repairs, it’s important to find a reputable auto body repair shop in Morgantown. Look for one who has experience working with winter weather-related damage and can provide quality repairs.

How Freedom Collision Can Help

At Freedom Collision, we understand the importance of winterizing your car for safe driving in West Virginia, but we know that even with the best winter preparation, accidents can still happen.

When they do, we’ll be here to help you get back onto the road safely!
By following these tips and getting your car repaired at our auto body repair shop in Morgantown, you can help ensure safe travels during the winter season in West Virginia.

Don’t take any chances regarding your safety on the road – take the time to winterize your car.

Contact Freedom Collision Center today to learn more!



Morgantown Center

696 Fairmont Rd.
Morgantown, WV 26501

(304) -241-1325

Freedom Auto Group's Morgantown Center