Is your dependable four-wheeled companion ready to face the icy challenges of winter? As the temperature drops and snow falls, keeping it in top shape may get harder.

Free photo a man mechanic and woman customer look at the car hood and discuss repairs

In fact, with 70% of the US roads running through snowy conditions, there are good chances of facing issues during the winter season.

Your car will require some extra attention to keep you safe and warm on the road. Do not wait until you are stuck in the snow to realize you missed some crucial warning signs. This guide will look at the warning signs that your car is not fully prepared for the winter wonderland.

Get ready to set out on a journey to ensure that your vehicle is more than just a mode of transportation. Here are a few signs indicating that you cannot trust it to be a trustworthy companion this winter.

Sign #1: Battery issues

Winter can be particularly taxing on your vehicle’s battery. The chemical reactions within the battery decrease outdoor temperature drops. It leads to reducing its capacity to hold a charge. When your battery is about to fail, you may notice your engine struggling to start or cranking slowly.

Get your car battery tested before winter arrives to avoid being stranded in the freezing temperatures. You can replace it if it is old or shows signs of weakness. Remember that extreme cold can significantly reduce the lifespan of a weak battery, so prevention is essential.

Sign #2: Tire wear

Your car’s tires are the first point of contact with slick winter roads. Inadequate tire tread can result in decreased traction, making your vehicle more prone to skidding. Look for tread wear indicator bars, the small rubber bridges between the treads, to inspect your tires.

It is time for new tires if they are even with the treads. Additionally, you should ensure your tires are properly inflated, as cold weather can cause tire pressure to drop. Tire maintenance is vital for safe winter driving.

Sign #3: Brake malfunctions

Your brakes act as a lifesaver on icy roads. Keep an eye out for signs of brake problems. These include spongy pedals, squealing sounds, or decreased braking performance. Brake fluid can also be affected by cold temperatures.

You should have your brakes inspected before winter arrives. A well-maintained braking system can help to avoid accidents and save lives in slippery conditions.

Sign #4: Windshield damage

Your windscreen faces a great deal of wear and tear throughout the year. Small chips and cracks can quickly worsen if exposed to freezing temperatures and icy conditions.

You should repair any chips or cracks as soon as possible. If needed, a windshield replacement should be done sooner than later.  Do not skimp on this because even minor damage to your windscreen may block your vision and weaken the strength of its frame. You should also ensure your wipers are in good working order.

Sign #5: Dim headlights

Having powerful headlights is important as winter brings shorter days and longer nights. Dim or foggy lights can reduce your visibility, making it difficult for you to see the road and for drivers around to see you. Check that your headlights are clean.

You should consider replacing them or having a professional cleanup if they become dim. Headlights that work properly are essential for nighttime driving safety.

Sign #6: Heater malfunction

Few things are more inconvenient than a broken car heater during the winter. You should get your heater serviced if you are only getting cold air or your heater is having trouble warming up your vehicle.

A faulty heater can make your ride unpleasant. It can also endanger your safety by hindering your ability to defrost your windscreen. Check that your heater is in good working condition before the winter chill arrives.

Sign #7: Strange sounds

Unusual noises coming from your car engine, brakes, or suspension should not be ignored, even more so when the winter is around the corner. When the temperature drops, these strange sounds may become more pronounced.

A squealing noise from your brakes might indicate worn brake pads. Conversely, a knocking sound from your engine could be a sign of a mechanical problem. Ignoring these sounds can result in expensive repairs or even breakdowns in the dead of winter.


You can ensure a safer and more comfortable driving experience throughout the season by addressing these issues before the cold weather arrives. Regular maintenance and vigilance are essential for keeping your vehicle in good working order during the winter months. Stay safe and keep your car in top shape for the icy roads ahead.

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