Winter Service Tips to Ready Your Car for the Season

Winter Service

Winter time can be really hard on your vehicle. The cold and ice and hard driving conditions can push your vehicle over the edge if it has not been maintained properly. Below is a list of 12 winter service tips you can take to avoid being stuck on the side of the road when the worst of winter hits. 

Winter Service: Heater

Does Your Heat Blow Hot?

The first winter service to check is that the heater is properly working. Run your heater at different speeds, from low to high, and listen for any unusual noises that could indicate a problem. Screeching, clunking or metal-on-metal sounds are all indications that the motor might have to be replaced. If the heater is blowing cold, check your coolant reservoir, radiator cap and hoses for any signs of leaks.

Engine Service

How Old Are Your Belts and Hoses?

Cold weather can reduce the life expectancy of belts and hoses, so make sure yours are in good shape before winter. A broken belt or worn out hose can leave you stranded. Don’t get stuck on the road this winter make sure your engine is ready for the cold weather. 

Winter Service: Battery

Will Your Battery Leave You Out In The Cold?

Cold temperatures can reduce the battery’s power. If your car’s battery is older than five years, your car turns over but the engine doesn’t start or if you have had to jump start your car's battery numerous times, it may be time for a new battery. If your battery dies here are directions for jump starting it. 

Winter Service: Change Oil

Have You Changed Your Oil?

The most basic Winter Service is an oil change. Older oil is sluggish when it’s cold outside, which makes your engine work harder.  5W-30 motor oil flows quicker in cold weather than 20W-50. Use your cars recommended oil range for winter. Change your oil and oil filter every 3,000 to 5,000 miles or the estimated mileage in your owner’s manual.

Winter Service: Check Wipers

Did You Change Your Wipers at Your Winter Service?

Rain, snow, and ice can impair your visibility. Make sure your wiper blades and wiper fluid are ready for the snow! Wiper blades can crack and split over time, leading to blades that don't perform well.  When you have winter service be sure to top off your windshield wiper fluid. Use a wiper fluid that has antifreeze properties so when the temperature drops below freezing your wiper fluid reservoir don’t freeze or crack. 

Winter Service: Cabin Air Filter

Checked Your Cabin Air Filter Lately?

Before winter sets in, check your cabin air filter.

A clogged cabin air filter can impair airflow possibly causing heating problems, which is important for staying warm this winter.

Your cabin air filter should be replaced every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, or per the owner’s manual.

Winter Service: Key Fob

Key Fob Not Working?

Don’t get left out in the cold struggling to unlock your car door manually.

Replace your key fob batteries if the batteries are more than 4 years old. Or if you have to be closer than usual to the vehicle in order to get the key fob to function properly.

This is a winter service people forget about but may be a problem. 

Winter Service: Head Lights

Are Your Lights Shiny & Bright?

Are your headlights working as they should be?

Is there a blown light in one of your turn signals?

 Fully operational lights are critical to safe winter driving. In bad weather, you will need your lights so have them checked when you get your winter service. 

Winter Service: Check Tires

Are Your Tires Ready for Snow & Ice?

Good tires are essential for driving in the snow.

Check your tires air pressure. You can find the suggested PSI on your vehicles door jam or in your owner’s manual. For more information visit this post.

Check the tread on each tire. You can use the penny trick to see how much tread is left on each tire. Insert a penny into the tread in various places on each tire, if you can see Abe’s head it may be time for new tires.

Winter Service: Coolant

Cooling System Ready for Freezing Temperatures?

The leading cause of engine breakdowns is from cooling system failure.

Make sure you have the right mixture of antifreeze in the radiator.

The cooling system protects against damage by keeping the engine operating within the correct temperature range and provides heat to the car's cabin.

Winter Service: Brakes

Brakes Grinding & Shaking?

Having properly working brakes is important when driving in the winter.

If your brakes are making grinding noises or if you feel a vibration when applying the brakes; it’s time to have them replaced.

Ensure that your brakes are ready for the challenges of winter. 

winter service Detail

Stressed About Winters Salt & Snow Mess?

Treat yourself to a full detail to your car this holiday.

Road salt is extremely corrosive and over time it can cause extensive damage to vehicles.

Snow and salt make a mess of the interior and exterior of your vehicle.

If you are in the Connecticut area Star Auto Sales is happy to help with any of these Winter Services. You can reach out to our service department here. Save driving this winter.


  1. Margaret J Smith on February 6, 2018 at 2:39 am

    Car Service Is must either its winter or summer. The great and elaborative content you have written. Thanks a lot for sharing the nice post.

  2. Rhianna Hawk on August 13, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    I just got a new car and don’t really know much about what happens at a car service, and I definitely didn’t know I was supposed to change my wipers at a winter service. My dad’s old car definitely hasn’t had the wipers changed in a long time, as they are cracked and don’t work well, as you said, so I should pass that tip along to him as well. I’ll definitely be opting for antifreeze properties in my wiper fluid when I take my car in, as well, otherwise I don’t really know what good the fluid would ever do in the winter.

  3. Adam jerry on January 9, 2019 at 5:17 am

    Thanks for sharing the winter car service tips. You mostly covered all the important point which help us to maintain a car for the winter. My car’s battery was older than four years and I also faced the same problem in winter for that I had to change my car’s battery.

  4. Kelvin on June 3, 2020 at 3:19 am

    Great post Sara!! You are right winter is hard for our vehicles. Thus, the maintenance of vehicles gets more important in winters. These tips mentioned by you helped me to keep a check on my car’s health. Thanks for sharing.

  5. GC Vargas on January 20, 2021 at 10:37 pm

    Awesome Tips!! This is my second comment due to my first one not generating but thank you for the great check off list Janine!

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