4 Winter Car Care Hacks

Expert tips

Winter is tough on cars, and the stakes are high.

“It’s daunting,” said Tim Winkeler, COO of auto care specialist VIP Tires. “Some people are going to proactively get their cars checked out, and others will put it off and put it off. Then the heater doesn’t turn on, or they slide on the road a little bit, and they come in, panicking.”

VIP has been working with Timberland on rolling out Timberland Tires – a line of premium performance tires that are recycled into Timberland shoes once their journey on the road is complete.

Now that winter is nearly here, it’s time to upgrade to winter tires for the inevitable harsh weather and slippery road conditions this season.

Tim gave us his tips on how to prepare your car for the winter:

Good gripping tires

“There’s nothing more important for your winter driving than having the right tires. A tire with fantastic grip like the Timberland CROSS is a necessity in places like New England, but they’re a great idea in any part of the country because you can wear them all year round and get fantastic control.

This time of year, I see a lot of worn out tires, and that’s scary because all the maintenance in the world can’t help you if your tires can’t get good traction with the ground. There’s just no substitute for making sure you have a good tire on your car, and it’s got enough tread left on it.”

Get winterized

“A winterization package, like the one we have at VIP, checks tires, the battery, fluid, suspension, wiper blades, starting and charging systems, the heating system, brakes, and exterior lights. It’s a total once-over with an eye to cold weather problems we see year after year. We’re not just looking at fluid levels, we’re replacing them or doing quality checks on those fluids, which tells us how your system is running. And a diagnostic on your battery is huge, because battery faults are the most common reason for a breakdown during the winter. We can tell you how much juice you’ve got left in it, plus we’ll clean off any corrosion.”

Check your windshield wipers

“One big surprise to a lot of people is how dangerous wiper blades are when they’re worn down. Using wiper blades to help clear off ice just once can damage them enough to render them useless in the snow. If you can’t see, you can’t drive safely.”

Preventive maintenance

“Winter is rough on cars, so even if you get winterized at the beginning of the season, do a monthly check.  If you didn’t pick up new tires recently, stick a penny into the lowest bit of tread on each tire (see below). If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, that’s the absolute worst case scenario. Find out how to check your battery for corrosion, and wipe it off every month or so.”

For the penny test, place a penny head first into several tire treads. If the penny disappears so far that you can no longer see Abraham’s head, then you should still have the recommended more than ⅔ of an inch tire tread remaining. If you can always see the top of Abe’s head, that’s an indicator that your tires have worn down and you should replace them. See below:

“Check your fluids every month, make sure your oil is getting changed regularly, and if your window gets streaky, change out your wiper blades right away. To be extra careful, pick up a couple extra sets for $10 online and have them at home just in case.”

 To get a winter care package for your car, book an appointment with a service professional you trust. (If you’re in the Northern New England area, VIP is a solid choice.

Get Timberland Tires delivered to your mechanic, or find a dealer near you through TimberlandTires.com.

Once you’ve worn out our tires on the road, we will responsibly recycle them into the soles of Timberland footwear. In other words, reduce your environmental footprint while you make actual footprints on the Modern Trail.