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I own a 2012 Impala, and was just wondering about any preparations I need to make for it to survive. I am from Southern California but am currently attending college in Northern Idaho, so I've never really needed to prepare a car for winter until now. It's getting to about 25-26 degrees Fahrenheit in the middle of the day, and drops below 20 at night, but on Friday and Saturday, the forecast is about 10 in the day and below 0 at night. I will be flying back home to CA for Christmas break, and was curious on if there's a lot I need to do. I check up on her about every 48hrs, and I start the engine and let it run with the defrosters on both the front & back windows while I brush the snow off. I also take her for a spin if there's not too much snow on the road.
 

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Important thing to know. M/S tires or all season isn't the greatest for snow and ice driving. So I wouldn't go joy riding on the days that it is really bad... I am not sure what part of Southern Cali But I don't think it has snowed in much of Cali since 96. I used to live in Eastern Oregon, Where the TEMPS can get down to -9 or less at times. Where they don't use salts but crushed lava rocks on the road with some type of oils. When they make it out to do the roads lol. I have lived between OR, CA, WA, and Idaho most my life with a couple of winters in Denver and a couple in Ohio back in the 80's. Most places I have ever lived been graced with SNOW, ICE and loads of Rain. I would make sure that you check the Coolant, If it hasn't been changed in a while or you don't know the condition it is in, I would check it and make sure it is filled with some fresh coolant. Also I would make sure that the Battery isn't to old. One of the hardest thing on a car in Winter is the battery If to old they seem to go dead when temps get under 20's. Or get it on a Trickle if its on the last years of its life.

Seeing your from Cali, I would also if your to worried about keeping your car warm. I would look into getting a Magnetic mount Engine heater. Some cars may have them from factory installed. However being a CA car I would expect it don't. Kat's Engine Heater is a good 300 Watt and even though it isn't as easy to use as the ones installed into the motor, only hard part is having to remember to climb under the car to take it off when your ready to go somewhere. I have had mine for years and used it on many rigs when needed. I just bought one for one of my Sisters in Eastern OR for Christmas. Cost was under 70 and my first one was almost 2 times the price many many years ago. Still the same...

Other then that I am sure you and your car will be ok. Also everything I have stated is what I would do. Not saying that it is something you have to do.

Be Safe
James

Edit: Just looked at Weather where I used to live back in 87 and on Sat going to be +7 high and -5 Low. I hope your not chilling around Idaho Falls.
 

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Ultimately there is nothing really you HAVE to do. Like Revo2maxx said, snow tires help a bunch if you are going to be driving in the snow and ice. If you aren't driving much, and you are more just worried about your car sitting in the cold, well it isn't too big of a deal. I would say what you do starting it every few days is good. The main concern would be making sure your battery stays charged. As well, when you start it, I would make sure it gets to full operating temp, and probably actually take it for a quick spin to burn off some of the moisture/condensation. If it gets super cold you could look into a engine heater like Revo2maxx said, but I can't say I've ever had a problem with a modern gas engine starting in extreme cold. Just don't hop in it and rev that crap out of it before it gets a chance to warm up the oil a little.
 

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i think the anti-freeze is a point of interest in winterizing. being you're usually in california the anti-freeze mix may not be up to snuff for the sub zero temps. i recommend a 50/50 mix if not already at that mixture. too weak of a mixture of antifreeze/water and the block can freeze up/crack....here's a how to, for using an antifreeze tester:

 
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