Winters are beautiful when you are at home and not when you are driving on the roads! From clearing snow off the wipers to de-icing the door handles, there’s a lotta headache you’ve to go through every day.
However, these best car essentials for winter will make things easier, and you can quickly hop inside the car to reach your destination. I’ve put most of these items into my winter car kit, and it has made surviving the colds pretty easy.
I believe you might have most of these essentials. So read on, and find out the most important things to keep in your car during winters.
Contents (Jump to Topic)
List of Best Car Essentials for Winter
1. Ice Scraper
Driving with thick snow on the windshield isn’t just dangerous, but it can attract hefty fines in most states. Regardless of the law, always clean the snow using a good-quality snow scraper to ensure better visibility and low frost build-up on the windscreen.
An ice scraper with a built-in snow brush is the best winter car accessory to go for so that you can get rid of the snow quickly.
- Best Overall: AstroAI Snow Brush and Detachable Ice Scraper
- Premium Pick: SubZero 60″ Snowbroom with Integrated Squeegee and Ice Scraper
- Also Great: BIRDROCK Extendable Snow Brush and Ice Scraper
2. Windshield Snow Covers
If scraping the snow isn’t your thing, you can choose a windshield snow cover. These covers safeguard the entire windscreen from snow build-up, and when there is no snow, you don’t have to worry about the frost as well.
Look for a pair of covers to protect the front and rear glass of your vehicle. These covers are perfect for people that park their car on the driveway.
3. Windshield De-Icing Spray and Solutions
Another quick hack to clear off the snow is using a windshield de-icer. If you live in areas with sub-zero temperatures, you should use these solutions to prevent the snow from accumulating on the windshield and windows.
Always keep the de-icing spray in your car’s winter kit, as you may need it anytime because blizzards are inevitable.
4. Battery Jumper Cables
If you haven’t driven your car for days, don’t expect the engine to start in a few cranks. If you don’t want the tow vehicle to arrive and cost you hundreds of dollars, carry battery jumper cables.
With these cables, you can easily start the vehicle by getting assistance from a fellow driver. The jumper cables are another essential accessory to keep in the car’s winter kit.
5. Battery Jump Starter
The jump starter cables don’t work without a jump starter. So, you need a compact battery jump starter. This device will help you revive the dead or dying battery while saving you money.
In fact, owning a car jump starter costs way less than calling a tow truck and doesn’t involve the hassles of getting your car battery fixed in the local garage.
- Best Overall: NEXPOW Car Battery Starter
- Premium Pick: NOCO Boost Plus GB40 1000 Amp 12-Volt UltraSafe Lithium Jump Starter Box
- Also Great: DBPOWER 800A 18000mAh Portable Car Jump Starter
6. Battery Terminal Corrosion Protectant
There are higher chances of corrosion on the vehicle’s battery terminals as cold weather creates favorable conditions for rusting. A battery terminal corrosion protectant is the best way to steer clear of corrosion.
Moreover, it reduces the chances of using jumper cables, as you can start the engine in a few cranks. Use the spray with care, and ensure it doesn’t fall off on other engine components.
7. Snow Chains
If you live in areas with heavy snowfall, you already know the importance of snow chains for the tires. Snow chains for cars help you drive on a slippery road without losing traction.
Also, you don’t need a traction mat if you are using a snow chain with the vehicle. Always be sure about the tire size when buying a set of chains for ease of installation.
- Best Overall: Security Chain Company Super Z6 Cable Tire Chain
- Premium Pick: KONIG XB-16 Snow Chains
- Also Great: Peerless 0232805 Auto-Trac Light Truck/SUV Tire Traction Chain
8. Traction Mats
So, you are not looking to have chains in your car? What if the vehicle gets stuck in an area with limited or no traction, and you don’t find any vehicle around for help?
Carry traction mats in your car, and make it easier to drive through such areas.
These mats are more compact than snow chains. But using them is a little challenging as you or the co-passenger has to place the mats below the tires until the car reaches a safe spot.
- Best Overall: X-BULL New Recovery Traction Tracks
- Premium Pick: Maxsa Innovations 20333 Escaper Buddy Traction Mats
- Also Great: EVTIME Emergency Devices Tire Traction Mats
9. Electric Blankets
After using the traction mats, you will need an electric blanket to warm up quickly. There are plenty of good electric blankets available for cars that use the cigarette outlet to get power.
These blankets are perfect for adults, kids, and even your pets can use them under supervision. Lastly, it is safe to use such blankets inside the car.
Here are the dos and don’ts of using an electric blanket.
10. Windshield Washer Fluid
Washing the windshield in winters is entirely different from summers and fall. The wipers don’t work properly, and the snow keeps accumulating on the screen.
You can get rid of these hassles by using a windshield washer fluid. These fluids form a layer on the glass, preventing snow build up.
These fluids are available in the form of sprays and gallon jars that you can pour inside the car’s windshield washer container under the hood.
- Best Overall: Prestone All Season 2-in-1 Windshield Washer Fluid
- Budget Pick: Nextzett Kristall Klar Washer Fluid
- Also Great: Rain-X DE-ICER Washer Fluid
11. Foldable Snow Shovel
You can clear the windshield with an ice scraper and a snow brush, but what about the snow accumulated on the driveway? You need a foldable snow shovel to remove the snow so that your car can hit the road.
The best part about foldable shovels is that they are compact, and you can toss them inside the car winter kit.
12. Fuel Stabilizers
I’m sure you must be thinking about gasoline, as it may end up freezing inside the tank if you don’t drive the vehicle for longer. Fuel stabilizers slow down the oxidation of fuel, and it remains usable.
Also, you don’t have to worry about the fuel freezing, and it makes your life easier.
Choose a branded fuel stabilizer, as you cannot pour just anything inside the vehicle’s tank.
- Best Overall: STA-BIL 360 Marine Ethanol Treatment and Fuel Stabilizer
- Budget Pick: Yamaha Fuel Stabilizer & Conditioner
- Also Great: Star Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment Concentrate
13. Tow Rope
Apart from jumper cables, I always prefer carrying a tow rope, because the huge pieces of snow lying on the road can make it hard for the car to pass. So you should go for a tow rope, especially if you own a hatchback or a sedan with low ground clearance.
The rope will help you get some assistance from other drivers, and you can bring your car on the road easily.
Check out this video and know how to use a tow rope on a car.
- Best Overall: Sunferno Recovery Tow Strap 35000lb
- Premium Pick: ALL-TOP Nylon Heavy Duty Tow Strap Recovery Strap Kit
- Also Great: Rhino USA Recovery Tow Strap 3in x 20ft
14. Reflective Flags and Flares
I owned an old Ford truck, and it used to break down after every few days. So, I can say reflective flags are a big help! You should carry reflective flags and flares even if you own a brand-new car.
Just mount the flag on your car and tell the oncoming vehicles that there’s something wrong with your car. Or you need help!
Keep these essential accessories inside the winter kit, and ensure carrying them every time you drive the car.
Keeping a flashlight is a great idea year-round. There is less daylight during the winters, and you’ll find the handy flashlight useful in such conditions.
Whether connecting the jumper cables, changing the tires, or inspecting your car, the bright light will help you a lot.
Keep the torch inside the winter car kit so that you can carry it wherever you go.
16. Cat Litter
Cat litter has several benefits, and I know you’ll stock it right away after knowing its advantages. The litter helps the tires get good traction, and your car won’t get stuck in the snow.
Also, the litter helps in defrosting a windshield. Put some litter inside an old sock or a mitten, and place it on the dashboard near the defrost vents.
The litter absorbs the moisture quickly, and you will see less frost on the windscreen. Get a zip-lock bag for carrying the litter so that it doesn’t spread inside the car.
17. Gloves, Cap, and Shoes
You will find this pair useful when changing the tires, using the tow rope, or doing anything that requires you to get out of the car. I keep the gloves and cap inside the glove box for easy access.
Invest in a thick woolen cap and sturdy gloves that don’t wear out easily. You can wear snow boots all the time, as they help you walk on roads comfortably.
- Best Winter Snow Gloves: MCTi Ski Gloves, Winter Waterproof Snowboard Snow
- Best Snow Boots for Women: Columbia Women’s Ice Maiden II Snow Boot
- Best Snow Boots for Men: Columbia Men’s Bugaboot III Snow Boot
- Best Snow Cap: OZERO Knit Beanie Hat, Thick Polar Fleece Snow Skull Cap
- Best Winter Jacket: Wantdo Men’s Mountain Waterproof Ski Jacket
18. Air Compressor
There’s nothing more annoying than a flat tire and snow all around. But you can easily escape such situations with a good air compressor. Refill air whenever required, and help other drivers when they are in such problems.
Modern air compressors use less power and shut off automatically when the tire is full. Lastly, these devices are compact, and you can carry them anywhere in the car’s boot.
19. First Aid Kit
If your car doesn’t have a first aid kit, buy one and place it inside the glove box. These winter emergency car kits have all the required medicines, solutions, and bandages required to deal with small injuries.
I’d recommend you to use gloves all the time when you are changing snow chains or using the air compressor to avoid injuries.
Buy certified first-aid kits only, and learn the basic first aid skills every car driver should know.
- Best Overall: First Aid Only 299 Pieces All-Purpose First Aid Emergency Kit
- Premium Pick: M2 BASICS 300 Piece (40 Unique Items) First Aid Kit
- Also Great: Active Era Small All-Purpose First Aid Kit
20. Blind Spot Mirror
Own an SUV? Hate it when you cannot see what’s behind due to snow? Use a blind spot mirror and get a better view of what’s behind your vehicle.
These tiny mirrors stick to the external ORVMs, and you can use them all around the year. I use a mirror with adjustable angles, and it’s a big help, especially when driving alone.
- Best Overall: Ampper Blind Spot Mirror
- Best Value: Blind Spot Mirrors XLarge for SUV, Vans, Pick up Trucks
- Also Great: LivTee Blind Spot Mirror
21. Window Track Lubricator
Trying hard still the windows aren’t rolling down? It may be due to the ice buildup inside the window tracks. Moreover, the rubber tracks that hold the glass get frozen and result in blocking the window.
With a good track lubricator, you can ensure the window rolls up and down smoothly as you click the button. A force drag can cost you hundreds of dollars, so don’t push the window opener button if the window resists opening.
22. Door Lock Lubricator
Let’s face it! You haven’t used the door and truck locks for years. Well, I also don’t use the lock as the key fob has made it easier to lock and unlock a car from a distance.
However, the lock has a mechanical unit that freezes in winters, and you cannot open the door if the remote fails to work.
With a door lock lubricator, you can lubricate the mechanical parts to ensure the lock works fine every time.
Also, unlock/lock the door and trunk frequently so that they work fine all the time.
23. Car Floor Mats
The snow sticks to your boots and enters inside the car. As a result, you’ll see water on the floor, and it can be stinky most of the time. So, use good quality car floor mats designed especially for winters.
These thick rubber pieces keep the mud, slush, and coffee spills away from reaching the car’s floor. Choose custom mats that are designed for your car.
Furthermore, pay attention to the make and model when buying car floor mats.
- Best Overall: Motor Trend Heavy Duty Rubber Floor Mats for Car
- Premium Pick: WeatherTech 446071 FloorLiner
- Also Great: Armor All 4-Piece Black All Season Rubber Floor Mat
24. Car Cell Phone Charger
Cell phone chargers for cars have been a lifesaver since their inception. These fast chargers will fuel your phone quickly, and you don’t run out of charge.
A phone charger is an essential winter car gadget for a car winter kit to keep power flowing inside your smartphone.
Buy a charger that’s compatible with the phone, and charge it quickly with added safety.
- Best Overall: Hussell Car Charger Adapter
- Budget Pick: Amazon Basics Dual-Port USB Car Charger
- Also Great: Anker Car Charger
25. Wildlife Whistle
You can easily spot a herd of deer in winters. However, it can be dangerous if these wild animals come on the road, just when your car is about to cross.
If you live in areas with deer and other animals, it would be great to use a wildlife whistle. These whistles emit an ultrasonic sound that’s audible to a herd of deer, but humans and dogs cannot hear it.
So, you can drive your car peacefully without worrying about a deer colliding with it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: How do I prepare my Car for Winter Driving?
A1: Preparing your car for winters is easy, and there are a handful of things to keep in mind. Always maintain good tire pressure, as they tend to deflate if the temperature reaches below zero. Furthermore, you should get the brakes inspected occasionally.
I would recommend getting the wiper blades changed and putting some fuel stabilizer in the tank. Doing these things will make your car winter-ready, and you can drive it without any hassles.
Lastly, consider getting winter tires or get a set of snow chains so that your vehicle doesn’t slip on the icy roads.
Q2: Are Tire Chains a better option than Snow Tires?
A2: Winter tires and chains both serve different purposes, so there is no comparison at all. It is essential to invest in winter tires, as the material is specially designed to withstand extreme temperatures, and the tire doesn’t crack easily.
On the other hand, snow chains enhance traction. If you live in an area with limited snowfall, you should go for winter tires, whereas in areas with heavy snowfall, snow chains are essential.
Q3: How often should I start my Car in Winter?
A3: It is essential to start the car daily so that the battery performs well and the lubricants flow inside the engine. Even if you have no plans to drive the car, start it for 10-20 minutes, and you are good to go.
If you are looking for the best battery for cold weather, checkout this article.
Q4: How do I Drive Safely in the Snow and Ice?
A4: Always drive slowly when driving in snow and ice. Pay attention to the speed signs on the road, and ensure you don’t exceed the suggested speed.
Also, apply brakes carefully, as the car can slip off the road. If your car comes with a winter or snow mode, activate it for more traction.
Don’t drive unnecessarily, and make it a routine to check the tires regularly.
Q5: How do I open a Frozen Car Door?
A5: Don’t let the door freeze in the first place. Use a good quality door lubricating spray to ensure the mechanism works properly.
If the handles are frozen, use a de-icing solution. Spray the solution all over the handle, wait for some time, and then open it.
Don’t be aggressive, and pull the handle gently. Use an ice scraper if required to get rid of the thick snow.
These are the 25 must-have car essentials for winter you should have inside the car all the time. Ensure preparing a car winter kit and put a flashlight, first aid kit, and some other important things to keep them handy.
Moreover, get your car inspected once or twice a month, and get the brakes, tires, and battery checked by a reliable local mechanic.
Now your car is ready to hit the road, and you can drive it while steering-clearing the snow.
Last update on 2024-03-04 at 18:48 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API