Tim Shults
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Is Winterizing Your Car a Waste of Time and Money?

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Winterizing Your Car snow

Unless this happens to your car, is winterizing your vehicle necessary?
Photo: Koen via CC

Not all of us were ready for that early winter blast that rolled through last week and dropped the first batch of snow on northern America. Begrudgingly, many people went outside that bleak morning, scraped off their vehicle, brought the engine to life, and drove to work as usual.

That begs a serious question: If everyone’s cars can start after a heavy snowfall, is all this talk of “winterizing your car” necessary?

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After all, aren’t cars made to survive the cold? Look at all the special features vehicles offer: with remote start and top safety ratings, vehicles can surely survive the snow better than they used to. Why can’t we just continue to maintain our vehicles the same way we do throughout the year?

Winterizing Your Car blue driveway trees

Most drivers only deal with little bits of snow like this, so what harm could it cause?
Photo: Craig Cmehil via CC

The Times Leader studied both sides of this argument and interviewed a number of people offering differing perspectives.

According to Kevin Roth, an auto repair shop owner, winterizing your car is crucial for protecting your vehicle against harsh conditions, especially concerning snow tires and anti-freeze wiper fluid.

“When people don’t get their car winterized, they risk more breakdowns, antifreeze failure and not having enough traction on their tires, which can cause an accident,” Roth says. As the temperatures begin to dip, the risks increase.

On the other hand, Tom Voytek–owner of a different auto shop–sees “winterizing” as a marketing strategy. “If you follow the recommended manufacturers service schedule, your car should be good to go during any time of the year including winter,” Voytek says. Essentially, if you keep up with checking tire tread, fluid levels, and such throughout the rest of the year, winter shouldn’t make a difference.

Others agree with Voytek, saying cars made after the 1980s have vastly improved on their seasonal durability. But, that durability will only last if regular service is done to the car.

Long story short: the season shouldn’t matter. Keep your vehicle regularly serviced and it should be ready for winter whenever the cold temperatures and show hit.

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News Source: Times Leader