11 Winter Car Maintenance Tips

Cold temperatures put stress on your car. Get ahead of the situation and keep winter woes from hurting your ride or your wallet.

person scraping car window
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Perhaps the first frost has already coated your windshield, or the tire pressure warning light came on for no apparent reason (also a sign of winter—we’ll explain more). As you zip up another layer, give a thought to your ride, and check out these eleven tips that will keep your car rolling smoothly and safely through the cold season’s challenges. Even old salts might find some new insights.

We’re assuming you’ve covered the basics (such as that scraper; try under the seat?) and are up-to-date on your car’s regular scheduled service. Don’t postpone that—a mishap that might be just an annoyance in warmer weather could be a life-endangering hazard in the winter.

David Muhlbaum
Senior Online Editor, Kiplinger.com

In his current role as Senior Online Editor, David edits and writes a wide range of content for Kiplinger.com. With more than 20 years of experience with Kiplinger, he has worked on and written for a range of its publications, including The Kiplinger Letter and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. He is a co-host of Your Money's Worth, Kiplinger's podcast and has helped develop the Economic Forecasts feature.