Dear Crabby, How do you Winterize a Car?

Dear Crabby, I’m from the South and I’ve Heard about Michigan Winters. How do you Winterize a Car?

Charmed, I’m Sure, Belle of the South

Well Belle,

Let me tell you. You are definitely charmed to know me. And even more charmed to have me answer your question. Our winters can be mild or severe, and sometimes both in one week. You need to be ready!

Dear Crabby sits infront of his laptop

You could take your vehicle to a service station and let them check it for you, but they’re so busy right now it may take days to get it back. So, I recommend finding a friend to sit in the driver’s seat while you walk around the car. With the car on, have them tap the brakes, turn the lights on, use the turn signals and hazard lights – make sure they all work. Check the wiper blades, front and rear. Most of us have key-less entry these days, but it’s good idea to spray a little liquid graphite in all doors locks anyway, just in case.

Then, you should get an emergency kit. I have a box in my truck with jumper cables, extra hat and gloves, a rain poncho, flashlight, ice scraper and snow brush, first aid kit, phone charger, blanket, tire inflator, tire pressure gauge, pair of pliers, a screwdriver, and shovel.

This one time, a buddy of mine and me were cruising late at night and took a drive in a new subdivision. You know, young men, hot rod, and new streets – we want to lay some rubber. However, it was winter and even though the roads were in, they were not all plowed. We discovered this a little too late and got stuck. This was before cell phones, I had the extra hat and gloves — that was nice, but we didn’t have a shovel. So, at first light, we had walk to a nearby house to call for help.

These days, a charged cell phone and roadside assistance plan will do wonders.

You’ll also want to check all the fluids before winter and stock up on window wiper fluid. And, what you really want is snow tires – they’re a lifesaver. Keep in mind we have a supply-chain problem and a labor shortage – so, plan now. Order tires, do your shopping for supplies, and make any needed appointments with your local service garage now!

READ: Dear Crabby, Are Snow Tires a Good Idea?

Follow these simple steps and stay clear of un-plowed roads and you should be good to go.

Charmed as well, Dear Crabby.

About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at


  1. Lee M Zendel says

    There are no breaks on a car only brakes.

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