Winter is just around the corner.  Now is a great time to get your car, pickup, SUV or van ready to tackle winter in Montana. I can't stress this enough, take winter seriously in Montana.  The last thing you need is for your car's engine to freeze and break because you didn't have your car prepped for the winter cold.


I usually take my car in to a service center and just ask them to run the gambit to make sure my car is ready for the cold Montana temperatures.  It's a great option, and it's really easy.

If you're a DIY person, or maybe this is your first winter in Montana, Law Montana has a handy list of items you want to check to make sure your vehicle is ready for the white stuff and the below zero temperatures that are not too far away.


Cold is hard on car batteries. If your battery is old, I'd just get a new one.  It beats sitting in your car waiting for a tow when it's 10 below.  You can always bring it in and have it checked by a mechanic.


Get a winter oil change.  In the winter, a lighter oil is used because cold makes oil thicker.


For the love of God, if you're new to the state, bring your car in and have the antifreeze checked by the end of September.  General rule of thumb is 50% antifreeze, 50% water.  My dad taught me to have my car winterized to, at least, 30 below.



It's important to get your summer tires off before it gets really cold.  Winter tires have a softer rubber making them better for the bitter cold temperatures.  If you're unsure what kind of tire to use, ask a mechanic.


Make sure you have good wipers for the winter (And make sure they don't freeze to your windshield ruining them the first real cold snap.) Also, put a winter ready windshield wiper cleaner in your reservoir.  Not only is it just better handling the cold on your windshield, it will keep your reservoir from freezing and breaking.

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Winter Safety Kit

This is one of the most important things you can do for you and your passengers in the winter.  Here is a list of items you should have handy in your vehicle at all times.

  • Non-perishable food and snacks
  • Water
  • Flashlight
  • Kitty litter or sand
  • First Aid Kit
  • Blankets
  • Car candle
  • Matches
  • Flares
  • Scraper
  • Small shovel
  • Extra hats and gloves
  • Extra anti-freeze
  • Jumper cables

Winter Storm Preparation

Essentials to help you through an extended winter storm

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