How To Get Vehicles Ready For Winter Driving

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With winter here and snow on the way, and knowing Michigan's reputation for brutal winters, it’s important for citizens of Michiganders to make sure their cars are prepared for winter driving. Just as people spend extra time layering on jackets and gloves and scarves, extra time needs to be taken to prepare cars for colder temperatures as well.

Since we can’t control the weather, and we really can’t control how other people drive in it and what winter car accidents may occur as a result, we need to be in control of how well taken care of our vehicles are. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which conducted an analysis of critical reasons for motor vehicle accidents, problems related to the vehicle accounted for 44,000 accidents over the span of two years. While this may not seem like a lot when compared to accidents caused by human error, there are more preventative measures that can be taken when it comes to vehicle-related causes to make them avoidable. And while winterizing your car won’t necessarily keep drivers out of any automobile accidents over the coming the months, it can help to ensure that your car runs as smoothly as possible in colder temperatures.

Of those 44,000 accidents, tires and wheels, along with brakes, were the biggest culprits in causing car crashes. Steering, suspension, transmission, and engine-related problems all accounted for a smaller percentage of the automobile accidents. All of these car parts, regardless of how many car accidents they may cause, are aspects that driver’s should pay extra attention to as the winter season is nearly in full swing. DMV.org suggests the following tips for getting your vehicle ready for winter driving.

How To Get Your Car Ready For Winter

Coolant: It is especially important to have the correct antifreeze/water mixture to prevent fluid from freezing in your radiator. Consult your vehicle's owner's manual for information on this mixture. Pick up a tester at an auto parts store and make sure the fluid is filled to the maximum line.

Oil: Some mechanics recommend switching to a thinner oil if you live where temperatures drop below freezing. Your best bet is to consult your owner's manual or talk to your mechanic.

Wiper Fluid: Often overlooked, you'll need freeze-resistant wiper fluid to keep your windshield clean and your vision clear.

Inspect or Replace Your Tires: Low air pressure and worn tires are especially dangerous on wet or slick roads, as both can reduce traction

Snow Tires: Mounting the right tires on your car or truck can give you a huge advantage when trekking through snow. Many car makers and tire manufacturers recommend changing all four tires to snow tires in the winter. If you don't swap all four, the difference between snow and summer tires can cause other problems for your vehicle.

Cold Weather & Battery Capacity: It isn't only your engine that doesn't like to start in the winter. Your battery capacity is reduced by the cold weather, too. A thorough inspection of your battery, cables, terminals, and fluid will help you make sure your car is ready for the winter.

Pack an Emergency Kit: Items to include in your winter safety kit include a flashlight, blanket, leather gloves, hat, bag of kitty litter or sand, ice scraper and brush, small shovel, safe and leak-proof container of coolant, and snacks.

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This list for winterizing a car is extensive and may seem a little overwhelming, but properly maintaining your car is a part of being a car owner, and is especially important in the winter months to help avoid getting into winter weather car accidents. While no amount of preparation can guarantee your car won’t break down or that you won't be involved in a motor vehicle collision, it can help prevent things that are easily avoidable. Winterize your car, take extra precautions when driving in winter weather conditions, and be prepared for a heavy holiday traffic this winter. It may not feel like it, but winter won’t last forever, and clear, sunny driving conditions will be back soon!


Winter driving is inherently more dangerous than driving during other times of the year. With snow, sleet, and ice already complicating driving over the next few months, the last thing drivers need is an easily preventable vehicle malfunction that makes them careen into a ditch or get into a motor vehicle accident. If you get injured in a car crash this winter, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation with an experienced auto accident attorney. 

Tips For Extending The Life Of Your Vehicle

Vehicle turnaround for families is becoming somewhat of an issue, as it seems they are back at the dealership, looking for a new car, after just a few years. While the turnaround is often due to safety reasons, there is a lot drivers can do themselves to extend the life of their current vehicle, to prolong spending money on a new car. Below are some tips that can help get the most out of your vehicle:

Change Oil Regularly

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Without engine oil, a car motor is running dry and can cause damage by overheating. By ensuring your engine oil is always full and clean, an engine's life may be significantly prolonged, extending the life of a car significantly. Sources differ on how often oil changes are necessary, but somewhere between every 5,000 and 7,500 miles, an oil change is recommended. If driving in strenuous conditions, it is recommended to get an oil change every 3,000 miles or less. If synthetic oil is used, an engine  may only need changing every 7,500 miles due to its durability. Many new cars will monitor oil life automatically, but it is always best to ensure you stay on track with oil changes.

Make Sure Tires Are Properly Inflated

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Not only will this help extend the life of a car, but it will also save drivers financially. By ensuring that tires are properly inflated, vehicles will give the most miles per gallon. If tires are under or over-inflated, drivers have a higher risk of a blowout occurring, increase their tire ware, have lesser car handling, increased fuel emissions, and increased risk of an accident. Most cars inform drivers of the proper PSI levels on the inside of the drivers-side door, but all information can be found in the owner's manual. 

Check Transmission Fluid Regularly

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Transmission fluid essentially ensures that the transmission in the car shifts well. Without transmission fluid, a transmission does not shift properly and can lead to damage. Drivers will have trouble shifting when accelerating, experience poor gas mileage, and may even have to replace their transmission. 

Keep Power Steering Fluid Full

Not many drivers have driven without power steering, and for good reason. It is very difficult to maintain control of the vehicle, and the steering wheel may even lock up on the driver, which can lead to even bigger issues. By keeping the power steering fluid topped off, drivers literally gain a better grip on their driving.

Maintain A Clean Air Filter

A dirty air filter can cost drivers in gas mileage and also in harm to the engine and other core aspects of the vehicle under the hood. Air filters are easy to check up on and can be found at almost any auto-repair shop for a fair price. Plus, no one wants to breathe in dirty air and potentially get sick.

Stock Up On Coolant And Anti-Freeze for Harsh Weather

In warm climates, a car without coolant can overheat within minutes of being turned on. This can cause damage to a vehicle. In colder climates, cars can acutally freeze while sitting in the driveway without antifreeze. Both of these are very important to keep stocked because without them a vehicle can be damaged by the elements.

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Schedule Routine Car Checkups

It is always important to take vehicles in for checkups, because the trained professionals at auto repair shops often catch things drivers may have missed. Routine checkups are important to ensure a car lives to its full potential, even if nothing is discovered at most of them.


Even with all these precautions for maintaining the life of a car, even the most cautious drivers can't prevent some accidents from happening.  Injuries can range from bumps and bruises, to Traumatic Brain Injuries, and can have life long effects. If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are highly experienced in handling all types of motor vehicle accidents, including car crashes which have been caused by defective cars. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.