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The Car Coach: Four C’s you need to know before winter snow and ice

Written By | Dec 6, 2021
The Car Coach, Four Cs of winter driving

Be prepared this winter — a little forethought before the ice and snow can save your life, and extend the life of your car

It’s the perfect time to get under the hood before winter takes effect. Here are four Cs to get your vehicle ready for the colder weather: check, change, carry, and clean. Follow these tips, and you’ll stay on the road and off the side of it.

The Four Cs:


  • Lights – Headlights, taillights, turn signals, reverse lights, and horn.
  • Tire Wear – Not just the tread but also any sign of uneven wear. That may mean you have a suspension or alignment problem.
  • Leaks – Check under the hood and where you park your car for any signs of leaks. These should be repaired as soon as you notice them.
  • Fluids – Check the 9 vehicle fluids, including power steering, brake, transmission fluid, engine oil, antifreeze and filters.
  • Air Filter – Change air filters every 12,000 miles or every 6 months. It’s easy to do it yourself! This will give you better fuel economy and performance.
  • Battery – If you are having trouble starting your car, it may be the battery. Have it checked. Cold temps are hard on a fully charged battery, but they can prevent a weak one from even starting. If your battery is four years or older, have it tested.
  • Tire Pressure – check for the proper pressures against the door placard.
  • Brakes – do you hear a squeal when you stop or brake light is on your dash? Have your brakes checked, you need new brake pads Now is the time – not when it is too late!


  • Winter Wiper Blades – the protective sleeve will help keep the blade on your windshield. Replace blades every 6 months.

  • Winter Washer Fluid – de-icer washer fluid will make your life easier on those real bad days. It has a yellowish color instead of the blue stuff.

  • Snow tires – even if you have a four-wheel-drive vehicle, winter tires are your safest way to travel in bad weather. They are designed for cold weather driving. All-season tires don’t offer the best traction in the snow.

  • Worn tires can be even more dangerous with winter weather, switching to an all-season tire will ensure the safety of you and your family.


Jumper cables – or jump box
Tire chains – required in mountainous areas
Tire inflatation product
First aid kit
LED Light Source and safety triangle
Protein bars or food
Bottled water
Snow brush with ice scraper
Blanket for every passenger
Hand and feet warmers
Cell phone charging cable
Paper towels and glass cleaner
Extra washer fluid
Work Gloves, duct tape, zip ties and basic tools


Clean and wax your vehicle at least once a week
Windshields, back window, and side windows, headlights and taillights.
Remove snow from the top and hood of your car. (This is law in some states)

And remember the secret to a safe fall and winter: See and be seen!

Watch the video review. We show you everything you need to know. If you have additional questions, put them in the comments below and I’ll be happy to answer.

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Additional articles on our website Car Coach Reports


Lauren Fix

Lauren Fix, The Car Coach®, is a nationally recognized automotive expert, analyst, author, and television host. A trusted car expert, Lauren provides an insider’s perspective on a wide range of automotive topics and aspects, energy, industry, consumer news and safety issues.