Back to all

Relax When the Wind Blows in Michigan: Winter Car Prep for Brighton Drivers

June 28, 2016

When autumn comes around in Brighton, leaves fall, nights get longer and there's a definite nip in the air. Time to unpack the boots and gloves and fold some extra blankets onto the beds. It's also time for Brighton drivers to winterize their vehicles.

Here is some expert auto advice for Brighton drivers on what vehicles need to keep everyone safe and rolling throughout the Michigan winter months.

1. Check your antifreeze. Top it off or change it if necessary. You don't want your radiator, engine or hoses freezing up. If your vehicle isn't generating enough heat to keep you warm, your antifreeze might be low, or you might have a thermostat problem. Either way, you should get it checked out before the full force of Michigan winter sets in. If you are due for a cooling system service at Spartan Tire Brighton in Brighton, get that done as well.

2. Check your brakes. The slushy wet conditions of winter increase stopping distances. Ice exacerbates the problem. Your first concern, of course, is to make sure you adapt your driving habits to winter weather: slow down, and give yourself plenty of room to stop. Get your brakes checked at Spartan Tire Brighton and replace any worn pads or other parts. Check your brake fluid. It can accumulate moisture and decrease your stopping power.

3. Test your battery. A battery's cranking power drops in the cold, so if your battery is already weak, the onset of winter will do it in. The last thing you want is to be on a snowy Michigan road in the dark and cold with a dead battery.

4. Pack emergency supplies. Toss a blanket into the trunk. If you do find yourself stranded, your first concern will be to stay warm. If you're traveling away from Michigan population centers, then pack some emergency food and water as well. Also, it's a good idea to top off your tank in winter. That way, if you get stuck, you'll have some fuel to burn to stay warm, and it'll keep your gas lines from freezing up.

5. Check your wiper blades. They may be able to handle a light Brighton summer rain shower, but they might not be up to the ice and snow that collect on a windshield in winter. If you experience particularly harsh winters or really wet ones, you can purchase special blades that resist freezing. And don't forget to top off your wiper fluid.

6. Check your tires. Tires lose pressure over time, but they lose pressure fast when it's cold outside in Brighton. Tires lose about one pound of pressure every six to eight weeks; they also lose one pound of pressure for every 10°F/5.6°C drop in temperature. If the last time you checked your tires it was 80°F/26.7°C outside and it's 40°F/4.4°C now, your tires could be down five pounds in pressure — and that's serious. It's a safety issue and cuts down on your fuel economy.

7. Driving conditions in the Brighton area may warrant special winter tires. Check with your friendly and knowledgeable Spartan Tire Brighton tire professional to get the right tires for your area and for your driving habits. If you are getting winter tires, it's always best to get them for all four wheels. But if you're only going to get two, put them on the rear wheels, even if you drive a front-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicle. Traction is more important on the rear of a vehicle if you want to prevent sliding or fish-tailing on slick surfaces.

So there you have it: a quick checklist to winterize your car in Michigan. When it comes to car care, preventive maintenance is always the best practice for Brighton drivers, especially when it comes to winter weather. None of us want to be caught out in the winter cold.

Spartan Tire Brighton
4880 Old U.S. 23
Brighton, Michigan 48114
810-355-4388

Need Service?

Request a Quote

More articles from Spartan Tire Brighton

Steering You Right (Tie Rod End Replacement)

April 21, 2024

For drivers, S stands for safety. And there are three other words that start with S that are all equally important: starting, stopping and steering. For your vehicle to be at its safest, all three functions must be in top shape. Steering is one of those things we take for granted. After all, y... More

Road Ready (Trip Inspection)

April 14, 2024

Maybe you've been cooped up for a while and are yearning for a change of scenery. Or maybe you need to visit a relative who lives far away. You choose not to fork out the big bucks for airline tickets, so it's time for a road trip. Make sure you're road ready by having your vehicle professiona... More

Feeling Powerless (Why Is My Battery Light On?)

April 7, 2024

When one of your vehicles warning lights comes on, the first thing that comes to mind is, Oh, no, whats wrong now? When its the battery light, it means theres something wrong with your vehicles battery or charging system. And because both are important for your vehicle to work properly, its a go... More