Will my 2007 Totoya Highlander have issues in cold weather?

I have a 2007 Highlander without problems in Los Angeles where the low temperature in winter is about 45 F (=7 C). I plan to drive up to a ski mountain resort this winter where the low temperature is about 25 F (= -4 C). Will my car experience issues there such as unable to start engine, etc.?

This will be my first time driving in that cold weather.

If your vehicle is well maintained, you should not have any problems.
I would have your battery checked if it is a few years old. cold weather can affect your battery. make sure you have tires rated for driving in snow.
you should have winter windshield washer fluid put in, so it does not freeze.
and new wiper blades is a good idea. and get yourself a good ice scraper for windows.


Also, I am not familiar with your state. but some states require you to have snow chains for some mountain areas, so enquire about it.
also check to see if you have roadside assistance on your insurance policy. it is cheap and good to have just in case.
If your vehicle has a spare tire, make sure it has the proper air in it and everything you need to change a tire.
best of luck, have fun and happy motoring.

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Your tire pressure will be about 2 PSI lower there, so add that before you leave. (A bit high at home won’t hurt anything.)


Last time I checked, you couldn’t get “Winter” washer fluid in California.

Ask your shop to check the anti-freeze protection is adequate for ski resort night-time temperatures. They’ll have a gadget that makes this a simple job. (You could buy a diy’er version of that gadget & check it yourself if you like, inexpensive.) Even if your cooling system at one point had the required 50/50 mixture, which is good to -10 F I think, sometimes folks in warmer climates will top off the radiator w/ plain water if there’s a minor hose leak, had to replace thermostat, etc, which may ok for warm climates, but will increase the freezing point, maybe as high as +20 deg F or more. You definitely want to avoid the coolant freezing during the night at the ski resort. Such a thing could ruin engine.

If your battery isn’t cranking the engine robustly in LA temperatures, it may not crank the engine at all at the ski resort. So good idea to ask shop do a charging system/battery test. If you think that’s be at worse case just a minor annoyance, you can deal w/that at the ski resort.

Good idea to check the Calif DMV website section about the snow chain requirements for the area you are going. What sort of tires are on you Highlander? Ice and snow on the road won’t be kind if the vehicles tires aren’t compatible. When I lived in Colorado I was a frequent visitor to ski resorts, so I installed studded snow tires on all four tires of my 2wd sedan. Never had to do that on my 4WD truck though. Make sure to test-fit both chains in LA, so you know how to do it.

A tip to save money on lift tickets: In northern Calif resorts at least it is usually considerably less expensive to purchase your lift tickets in the ski resort parking lot … lol … seriously, not making this up. Folks will buy a week’s worth of passes all at once, then get tired of skiing and want to sell the remaining ones for a discount in the parking lot. Some risk involved, and requires a cash payment. But I’ve never had any problems myself. I got tired of this parking-lot routine though, and decided some years ago I’d had enough of skiing to last a lifetime already. So i’m no longer a parking lot haggler.

Like others have said, a healthy battery comes first to mind, followed by coolant. I’d also have a fresh change of synthetic oil, if yours needs a change, and I’d make sure my tires had a good amount of tread.

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