Cold winds are blowing in, and you’re sure to be huddling for warmth in your car the next time you have somewhere to go. Unfortunately, winter can be very detrimental to cars. Michelin technical expert Ed Gliss recommends car owners start prepping for the season around Thanksgiving, but it’s not too late for you! We’ve got you covered with a list of affordable essential car accessories that you can buy right now to rest easy during the holidays.
Floor Mat Liners
The sludge your feet drag in could permanently stain your carpet. From car oil to yellow snow, there’s just no telling what you could be trudging into your car, especially if you live in the city.
Protect your interiors with trusted weathertech mats and liners that will stay durable and flexible even under extreme temperatures. No need to worry about the snow melting off your boots in the car and ruining its interiors.
There’s something incredibly difficult about leaving your warm blanket cocoon during winter mornings. Get that few extra minutes of sleeping in when you no longer have to scrape ice off your car’s windshield when it’s parked outside. This even serves you other days of the year as a sunshade protector, keeping your car cooler in warmer months. Windshield covers effectively reduce fuel consumption by eliminating or reducing the need to defrost during winter and to cool down during summer.
Certain types of windshield covers can even extend its protection to side view mirrors on top of your windshield and wiper blades. Easily install and remove every day when you’re taking your car out for a drive.
Headlight Restoration Kit
The sun’s not going shine any brighter, and you’re heading towards hazy and foggy days. With limited daylight, this is the time you must ensure your lights are in tip-top shape. There are many headlight restoration kits out there, but the important part is to always remember to utilize a lacquer with UV protection because that’s what hazes them up more than dirt and grime.
If you’re inclined to DIY, a little sandpaper, protective tape, some polish and wax, microfiber cloth, and a UV sealant is basically what’s in the kit. If you already have some of these materials on hand, you can just buy the rest. Just don’t forget the UV coat!
Experts recommend your engine coolant should be a 50/50 mix of water and anti-freeze. Most people top up with water during the year, and overall distilled water does its job well in heat transfer. Unfortunately, water on its own causes the metal parts in the cooling system to corrode and dilutes the coolant which keeps your engine from freezing up during the winter, driving up your fuel charges.
All-season tires are a bit of a misnomer. Drivers assume they’re fine for winter drives because of how they’re advertised, but that’s only true if you live in a temperate climate. Brand-new all-season tires only perform half as well as worn snow tires, so experts recommend installing a full set of four winter tires to reduce the risk of skidding and dramatically improve safety.
When browsing for winter tires, make sure it’s sporting a mountain and snowflake icon. The symbol tells consumers that the product meets the minimum requirements set by the US Tire Manufacturers Association. Although this is rather up the price scale, it’s the best investment in the long-run. You extend the life of your regular all-season tires when you retire them for winter, and your safety isn’t compromised!
Gearing up for the winter season doesn’t have to leave your pockets empty.