Last Minute Tips for Cold Weather

For weeks you have heard me harp on the radio about checking your battery and coolant condition.

Now it’s down to the wire with temperatures dropping by the minute…so what should you do?

As you drive home from work – extremely lucky that you and your vehicle made it through last night’s frigid conditions here are a few last minute options.

 1.     The easiest answer is to put your car in the garage. Even un-insulated garages are warmer than your driveway. Your vehicle feels wind chill similarly to the way we do and keeping it tucked away will help prevent some of the common issues you experience with the cold weather.

 2.     Fill up your fuel tank. Keeping your tank full will help prevent condensation from icing up in the tank. It will also be a little warmer for you at the pumps. Temperatures this evening will be considerably higher than in the morning and less stressful than when you are rushing to school or work in the morning.

 3.     If your battery is more than 3 years old. Make a quick stop by your neighborhood garage or auto parts store and install a new battery.

 4.     Add a ½ cup of isopropyl alcohol to your windshield washer reservoir. Then spray enough through the lines to be certain that the new mixture has made it through the system.

 5.     Have your coolant checked for efficiency. While we usually worry about your vehicle overheating in Texas this is one of the nights that we need to worry about freezing coolant cracking your radiator or other components.

 6.     Establish a backup plan tonight – before you have trouble in the morning. Contact a buddy, neighbor or workmate and agree to carpool to work or get each other’s children to school if either vehicle won’t start.

 7.     Your windshield will most likely be heavy with ice in the morning. Don’t take a pan of hot water from your house to pour out and melt the ice. It will more than likely crack your windshield. Cold water is acceptable, but don’t count on the water hose working.  Scraping works too, but located something stronger than your credit card, but be careful not to scratch the glass.

 8.     Allow more time – The roads may be slick – especially for those leaving earliest.  The possibility of other breakdowns, accidents and general bad traffic conditions is huge.

 9.     If your vehicle has been running poorly, has a check engine light on, or other worrisome symptoms – avoid taking it out in the extreme cold. It will only get worse.


Wishing you miles and miles of warm driving,


Lynn Beckwith, That Car Lady

KPRC 950am


Comments 3

  1. Marry

    I like the tip of establishing a backup plan the day before and allowing more time, because in could weather things are going much slower. And if there are any manjor problems, the public transport is probably the better option.

    1. Post

      Marry, you are correct. Especially here in Texas because no one is used to driving in bad weather, especially ice. There are hundreds of accidents when they do. Literally, hundreds. Thank you for commenting. Happy Driving,

  2. Curtis

    I’d also add that people should check their spare tire. I ended up with a flat a few winters ago and when I went to drop the spare, the hardware that secures it underneath my SUV had rusted to the point where I couldn’t get the spare out. Not a fun situation to be in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *