In 2017, the total sales of new vehicles surpassed $1 trillion. That's a lot of new cars on the road. As auto dealers, we like to think we know a thing or two about cars. Whether you shop for a new car or shop for a used car, taking good care of it during the winter will greatly extend its road life.

With more than $1 trillion in new cars zooming around the United States, you'd think more people knew how to take care of their precious vehicles during the winter. The fact is, many car owners just treat it like another season. Let's look at how to actually treat your car this winter.

Preventative maintenance

Make sure you take your car to the shop before the weather takes a turn for the worse. Having professionals look at your vehicle will ensure that any problems, minor or major, that you didn't know about can be addressed before the temperature plummets. Additionally, you'll want to get an oil change, think about getting winter tires (or at least tire rotation), testing your brakes, getting winter windshield wipers, and cleaning your air filters. These aren't things you'll want to have to deal with in an emergency situation during winter.

Clean it

Newsflash: getting your car washed is about much more than keeping it looking pretty. This applies to every season, but winter can be the most potentially damaging. Slush, road salt, snow, and general road moisture are all facts of winter. The attached impurities can wreak havoc on your new car's undercarriage and painted exterior. Get your car washed and the undercarriage thoroughly cleaned fairly often to blast those impurities away. You might even consider waxing the exterior to put a barrier between your shiny new car and the risk of potential rust down the road.

Of course, sometimes cars spring problems upon us despite our best preparations. While the spring and summer might be seasons you're liable to let that odd noise slide for longer than usual, winter is no time to let that happen. Conditions are more dangerous and more intense, so when you think you hear or feel something out of the ordinary while driving around this winter, take it to get looked at as soon as you can. Stay safe out there.

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