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So far it's been a mild winter, but I prefer to think of this time as the calm before the storm—and the perfect opportunity to winterize my car before all that snow, slush and freezing rain arrives. However, considering all the other expenses at winter time, prepping my car for winter starts with sussing out savings wherever I can, and these are just a few that will also help you winterize your car for less.
Windshield Wipers Savings
Without a doubt it was one of my scariest driving experiences ever: Zipping along a highway during a slushy snowfall only to have the wiper blade on the driver's side fly off into traffic. There I am brushing snow away with my windshield brush with one arm out the window and steering with the other until I could cross one lane to pull off to the side of the highway and switch the blade from the passenger side to my side. So if you do nothing else to winterize your car this season, check that your windshield wipers are safe and secure. If they're worn and you need a new pair, J.C. Whitney currently has a clearance on several models, including Trico Winter Wiper Blades at more than 50% off. Also, check out Sam's Club or Walmart for their wiper blade deals.
Discount Winter Tires
I'm convinced that whoever gave "all-season" tires their name lived somewhere without severe winter weather. After years of awkward skids and near-accidents, I finally bit the bullet over a decade ago and started to put winter tires on my car at the beginning of November. The superior handling and control instantly gave me more confidence when driving in winter and, I have to admit, a naughty pleasure when I saw bigger, heavier vehicles stuck in icy snow while my little Sprint just eased on down the road. Yes, winter tires are more expensive than all-seasons, but tire companies do run promotions with coupons. At ExpertTire they currently have a $20 off coupon (good thru Jan 31st) on a set of 4 snow tires. The same coupon can be found here on any Firestone tires. Another way you can save on winter tires is to buy gently used ones at a tire store. They shouldn't be more than one or two seasons old.
Cheap Fluids Change
It's no surprise that the chilly winter air has a way of making your oil, coolant and brake fluid sluggish. When that happens, they're less effective at doing their job: keeping your car in good shape and keeping you safe on the road. For cheap fluid changes in winter I never go to my car dealer (although I won't let anyone else do my regular tune-up!). Instead, I go to a nearby lube and transmission service shop, and as a regular customer I'm always quick to ask for a discount. If there's no particular service shop you go to, check out Super Lube, which has several deals on right now, including $5 off motor oil change, $10 off automatic transmission fluid exchange and $10 off power steering fluid exchange.
Free Battery Checkup
If being stuck in a car with a dead battery in sub-32 degree weather isn't your idea of fun, get your battery tested before winter sets in for the long haul. The frigid temperatures take their greatest toll on your car's battery, making it harder to rev up your engine. You should be able to get your battery tested for free at an auto shop or car care center. If you need to replace your battery, Pepboys currently has a $10 off coupon (carry-out only). Advance Auto Parts is running a 20% off total online purchase until 1/24 (good up to $50).
And don't forget, if you're a member of AAA, you can save on repair labor and also take advantage of a free maintenance inspection. Here's to a safe, warm ride all winter.
This has been a guest post by Andrea from Ontario, Canada
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