We just moved from Hawaii (after living there for 15 years) to Maryland. We shipped our Mazda Protege from Hawaii, and I think we need to winterize it ASAP. My husband does not think we need to worry about winterizing the car. What will/might happen if we do not winterize the car?

Thank you.

PS - my husband grew up in Boston!

Maryland is far enough south that you won’t get winter weather for the entire season, however I’d recommend some good all weather tires, some “winter mix” windshield washer fluid, and that the schdeuled maintenance all be performed. Maryland does get the rare winter storm and it’s good to be prepared.

I’ve never lived there, but I looked at weather patterns in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website and based my suggestions on those. I could be wrong.

Couple of things for moving to the MD. We do get rain, snow, ice, slush etc. about all the winter weather mess you could think of besides considerable snow (usually).

All-season tires at least for winter, if you need to get around, are good. Probably don’t need winter tires unless you are in the western half of MD (mountains and snow).

Check to make sure you have changed out anti-freeze recently, the Hawaiians may have parted in to much water (or just water even) into the coolant system and you don’t want that to slush or freeze. Same with oil, make sure by at least the next oil change you have some cooler weather oil put in, per car’s manual.

A new battery and/or electrical/charging system check might be good, not so cold to be a huge problem, but you don’t want to get stuck. Wiper blades and fluid. on some commutes with the mess the state puts down on the road, you will be using it every minute or so. For hard morning ices, when the wipers are stuck, spray a little mix of alcohol and water on to free them up.

And keep a scraper inside your house and car, ice builds up pretty quick, and it would be hard to get to one you keep in the car.

With the exception of wwindshield washer fluid, it should be ready to go. I agree with the winter tyres (I suggest a set of tyres on their own wheels so it is easy/cheap to change them out in the spring. It would not be a bad idea to have a mechanic check it out as well, but I believe you will find it is ready otherwise. All the other stuff should have been done, even in Hawaii.

Welcome to Maryland! You can probably save yourself a few dollars and skip the winter/snow tires. 35 years living here, and I’ve probably been stuck in the snow once…and that was in a '76 Celica. We get about one, maybe two, decent snowfalls a year. The rest is usually that miserable “wintery mix” or a 1/2 inch or so of powder that blows away with the wind (unless you’re way out western MD, closer to the mountains). If you’ve got the money to spare, a set of winter tires on their own rims is nice and convenient, but if you’ve got a good set of all-season tires with ample tread left on them, that’s probably all you’re going to need.

Check to make sure you have changed out anti-freeze recently, the Hawaiians may have parted in to much water (or just water even) into the coolant system and you don’t want that to slush or freeze.

Antifreeze not only the cooling system from freezing…but also keeps it from boiling. The best mixture for winter or summer is 50/50. So I seriously doubt that the anti-freeze mixture in Hawaii is any different then Noam Alaska. I would however have it checked if it hasn’t been in a while.

Get good all-season tires, and the scraper in the car is a good idea.

I agree with the others, check you antifreeze and washer fluid, make sure your tires a decent, and don’t worry about it. Keep an eye on your battery when it starts to get colder. If it does snow in MD, stay inside because the locals can’t drive in the snow anyway. I was caught in a small snow storm in DE a couple of years ago (just 2-3 inches), that pretty much shut the place down for a day, I was staying in a hotel and couldn’t even find an open restaurant. The few people who were out driving were very scary.