Preparing Your Vehicle for Winter Weather

Certain seasonal changes often prompt some basic attention to your vehicle, and the move into the winter season might be the single best example. Winters get cold, snowy and icy in Utah for several months at least, and ensuring that your car is ready for this is vital as we head into the coolest parts of the year.

At Tip Top Transmissions, we’re here to offer a huge range of transmission and other auto mechanic services to clients around Salt Lake City, from oil changes and general inspections to tire needs, check-engine light services and more. Here are some basic tips on preparing your car for the winter, whether on your own or with help from our auto mechanics wherever needed.

preparing vehicle winter weather

Basic Exterior Element Check

One of the first areas to check on your vehicle as you transition into winter is the outside. Some aspects to consider:

  • Wipers: Because winter weather can make driving conditions difficult, you need wipers that will work well in these scenarios. If your current ones are worn out or leaving streaks, replace them.
  • Headlights: From a safety standpoint, you want headlight bulbs that are functioning properly in the winter. Take some time every month or so to check them and ensure they’re working as needed.
  • Taillights: These are important for both you and others on the road to be able to see your vehicle, so make sure they’re all working.


Another exterior element that deserves its own section is your tires. Winter conditions make regular tire tread checks crucial, including each of the following areas:

  • Tread: The legal minimum for tread depth is 2/32 inch, but it’s often a good idea to replace them sooner than this if you live in an area with icy or snowy winters. If you’re not sure how to check them, we can help.
  • Pressure: During colder months, tire pressure can drop several PSI. Regularly filling your tires as necessary will keep you safe and improve handling.
  • Snow chains: For those of you who live in mountainous areas or others with heavy snowfall risks, make sure you have proper chains for your vehicle. We can assist with chain installation as well.
  • Snow tires: In other cases, many drivers simply swap regular tires for snow tires in the winter. Whether you do this yourself or want help, we can assist.


Another important area to check before winter arrives is your vehicle’s fluids. Some to be sure are at proper levels include:


If possible, have a professional check your battery before winter. Cold weather makes batteries work harder, so ensuring yours is in top shape will help prevent a breakdown.

Winter Emergency Kit

Especially if you regularly drive up in the mountains or in other heavy snow conditions, but even if not, it’s a good idea to have an emergency kit in your vehicle. Some good items to include:

  • Flashlight: Necessary for visibility in case of a breakdown at night.
  • Blanket: In case you do get stranded in winter weather conditions.
  • Jumper cables: In case your battery does fail and needs a jump start.
  • Shovel: For digging out snow or other items if needed.

Professional Tune-Up

Finally, for those who regularly have their vehicle serviced by a professional auto mechanic, it’s a good idea to schedule your routine tune-up for mid-fall or early winter. This way you can catch any problems or potential issues before winter hits hard and be fully prepared. If you don’t have a regular mechanic, we’d be happy to help with any needed services as well as offering general winter tips and guidance.

We hope this basic guide helps you keep your vehicle in great shape as winter approaches. For any auto mechanic services, contact Tip Top Transmissions today. We assist clients around SLC and nearby areas with all their auto service needs. We’re standing by to take your call!