Preparing your car for Ohio's winters

Posted by Lori Gelvin Tuesday, December 19, 2023 2:51:00 PM

Preparing your car for Ohio’s winters is essential to ensure safe and smooth driving in cold and potentially snowy conditions. Here's a checklist to help you get your vehicle ready for winter:


  • Install winter or all-season tires with good tread depth for improved traction.
  • Check tire pressure regularly and maintain it at the recommended levels.


  • Inspect the battery for corrosion and clean the terminals.
  • Test the battery's health and replace if necessary.


  • Ensure the coolant is a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water.
  • Check for leaks in the cooling system.

Oil and Fluids:

  • Use winter-grade oil for cold weather.
  • Top off or replace engine oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and windshield washer fluid.

Wiper Blades:

  • Install winter wiper blades to handle snow and ice.
  • Keep the windshield washer fluid reservoir filled with winter-grade fluid.

Heating and Defrosting:

  • Test the heater and defroster to ensure they are working properly.


  • Inspect the brakes and replace worn brake pads or rotors.
  • Ensure the parking brake is functioning.


  • Check all exterior lights, including headlights, taillights, turn signals, and brake lights.
  • Keep them clean and replace any burnt-out bulbs.

Exhaust System:

  • Check for leaks in the exhaust system, as snow and ice can cause toxic fumes to accumulate inside the car.

Emergency Kit:

  • Pack an emergency kit with items like blankets, a flashlight, batteries, a first-aid kit, non-perishable food, and a snow shovel.

Traction Aids:

  • Carry traction aids like sand, kitty litter, or tire chains in case you get stuck.

Fuel Level:

  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to prevent fuel line freeze-ups.

Carry Snow Removal Tools:

  • Equip your car with a snowbrush, ice scraper, and a small shovel for removing snow and ice from your vehicle.

Check Heater and Defroster:

  • Ensure your heater and defroster are working correctly for visibility and comfort.

Test 4WD or AWD Systems:

  • If your vehicle has 4-wheel drive (4WD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), make sure these systems are functioning properly.

Check the Spare Tire:

  • Verify that your spare tire is in good condition and properly inflated.

Pack Essentials:

  • Keep items like a warm blanket, extra clothing, and non-perishable snacks in your car in case of an emergency.

Regular Maintenance:

  • Stay up to date with routine maintenance, including oil changes, fluid checks, and tune-ups.

Emergency Contacts:

  • Ensure you have emergency contact numbers and a charged external battery in your phone.

Plan and Prepare:

  • Check the weather forecast and road conditions before heading out.
  • Inform someone of your travel plans and expected arrival time.

By following this checklist, you can help ensure that your vehicle is well-prepared for winter in Ohio, reducing the risk of accidents and breakdowns in challenging conditions.

Wayne Insurance Group

For more than a century, the Wayne Insurance Group companies have delivered financial security and peace of mind for families, farms and businesses. As mutual insurance companies, we exist to serve the insurance needs of our policyholders. We have partnered with a network of independent agents to offer a full line of insurance programs backed by prompt, fair claims service and support.

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Wayne Insurance Group
3873 Cleveland Road
Wooster, Ohio 44691

Tel: 330-345-8100 | Tol: 800-222-3873

Wayne Mutual Insurance Company

Founded in 1910, Wayne Mutual Insurance Company provides a wide range of property and casualty insurance programs for automobiles, homes, farms, investment properties, and businesses.

Washington Mutual Insurance Association

Since 1878, Washington Mutual Insurance Association has provided protection for homes, farms and personal property. Our products can be tailored to meet the specific needs of our policyholders.

Mid-State Farmers Mutual Insurance Company

Mid-State Farmers Mutual Insurance Company has been insuring homes and farms in Indiana since 1878, and remains committed to providing dependable protection, seeking creative solutions, and establishing synergetic relationships.