12 Must-Have Car Accessories & Parts for the Winter Season

BY MICHAEL D.

The days are growing shorter and the weather is turning, which can only mean one thing — winter is nearly upon us. Whether you make your home on the frozen tundras of Wisconsin or the high desert of Arizona, the season brings with it its share of challenges — from the annoyance of stiff and cold-to-the-touch seats to roads endangered with black ice.

If your vehicle could do with a few upgrades to make it through these next few months, then you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll run down a dozen accessories and parts for your consideration — one for each day of Christmas.

1. TONNEAU COVERS

Normally, you’d want to invest in a tonneau cover to prevent your gear from bouncing or flying out of your truck bed when traveling through rough country — or as a lockable deterrent to passing kleptos. But they also come in handy during the colder months because of their airtight weatherproof design. We carry a wide range of rolling, folding, hinged, soft and hard tonneaus from some of the most respected names in the industry — including BAK, TruXedo and ProZ — to keep your items safe from snow.

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2. BRAKES & ROTORS

You can’t put a price on peace of mind — and what greater peace of mind is there than knowing your brakes are in top form, especially when the roads get slick and visibility worsens? Come to a safe, secure stop every time with one of our myriad brake kits. Some are suitable for both trucking and towing applications, while others, like these ceramic brake pads, are for performance. The formulas used for our always-popular ceramic pads ensure a longer service life, while other kits boast a drilled and slotted rotor design to reduce brake temperature.

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3. FLOOR MATS

Floor mats are suitable for universal installation, but if they don’t fit just right, you can trim them down a bit — usually with a simple pair of scissors from the junk drawer. Choose from a wide selection made of high-quality carpet or hard-wearing rubber. Some are designed with raised edges or sections to catch liquid or debris and prevent them from spilling or scattering all over. During wintertime, you’re not as likely to track in mud or rainwater, but they do prevent salt damage. Available brands include Lund, WeatherTech and Lloyd.

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4. SEAT COVERS

Seat covers protect your upholstery from any stains you, your friends, your kids or your pets may track inside. By installing a full set today — or just for your front row, for those of you who drive short cab pickups — you can take a day trip to the mountains without a care in the world. When they get a little too dirty or wet for your tastes, just uninstall and clean with soap and water, or toss the covers in the washing machine. They also eliminate the discomfort of sliding onto a cold, stiff leather seatback, and are offered in a range of materials, from canvas to nylon bonds. Available brands include CalTrend, Saddleman and Seat Designs.

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5. SUSPENSION SYSTEMS

Adjusting your ride-height doesn’t depend on the weather, but navigation through certain conditions may well benefit from the installation of some brand-new shocks & struts, anti-sway bars or an advanced load-controlling system. Stabilize your ride wherever you go this Yuletide by shopping our premium selection, well represented by manufacturers such as Air Lift, Bilstein and Firestone.

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6. RUNNING BOARDS

Making the ascent from terra firma to the cab of your lifted vehicle can present quite a challenge, no matter the weather. But when temperatures dip, stretching your muscles for any sort of activity presents quite a challenge. A set of nerf bars or running boards offer just the sort of traction and stability you need to get you up and in. But bare metal is still plenty dangerous, especially if it’s wet with melted ice, which is why so many of our products feature slip-resistant pads, and even individual steps. We carry your choice of cab-length or wheel-to-wheel running boards from brands like Westin, Aries and Dee Zee.

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7. EXHAUST SYSTEMS

This is the present you’ve had your eye on all year — so why not treat yourself, or have someone tip off Kris Kringle on your behalf? Whether you’re after significant power, torque and pulling gains, a different sound, or a custom tailpipe appearance, odds are good that we have what you’re looking for. Exhaust tips install easily, either bolting on, screwing in or welding onto the appropriate mounting points. Exhaust kits typically do not include these tips, but are cut, bent and designed for maximum performance over time. We carry brand-names like Go Rhino, Magnaflow, Borla and Flowmaster.

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8. AIR INTAKES

No matter where they install on your vehicle, air intakes won’t be affected by the meteorological change. Adding one to your arsenal is pretty straight-forward and doesn’t require too much effort — you won’t need to get under the car and the job can be done in less than two hours. The benefits they bring are numerous, such as improved fuel economy and peak horsepower and torque. Materials include aluminum, crosslink nylon and plastic, and you can even get them in a diversity of colors for a stylish under-hood look. Choose from top manufacturers like aFe, K&N, Injen and Volant.

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9. LIGHTS

You never know when you’ll need a little extra candlepower to make it home safely. By stocking up on the most powerful aftermarket lights around, you’ll blaze through the fiercest blizzard, ensuring high visibility for yourself and awareness for others on the road. We carry a massive assortment of LED light bars, headlights, third brake lights, fog lights, off-road lights, individual bulbs and more. Brands include Spyder, Putco, Rigid Industries and Anzo USA. All are designed for a simple installation process, a watertight seal and high-powered radiance for the dim days and long nights ahead of you. Rudolph would be proud.

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10. CAR COVERS

Prevent overnight build-ups on your windshield, mirrors, hood and bed with a cover for your car, truck or SUV. It’ll save you the hassle of having to scrape your ride clean the next morning, and better yet, are easy to fasten in place. Most fit right over your vehicle, hugging every contour, while others are a bit more advanced, with a magnetized design that splits right up the middle when you wish to remove it, and secured for as long as you want by handy straps. Covercraft headlines our impressive catalog, while Rampage and Carhartt lend reliable all-weather support.

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11. WINTER DRIVING ACCESSORIES

We would be remiss if we didn’t cover accessories for winter driving in an article like this. Our hibernal products are many, from snow chains and tailgate salt spreaders to grille covers that both insulate and keep your front-end from freezing over. Snow plows for your winter warrior, ATV or UTV are also available. Waterproof and UV-coated covers protect the plow, rubber/steel/urethane cutting edge or snow deflector of your choosing. Count on HomePlow, SnowBear, Meyer and others to get it done for you.

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12. WIPER BLADES

Last — but certainly not least — on this list are wiper blades. Often overlooked during the warmer months, they’re not to be ignored when your vision needs to be clear. We have industrial-strength wiper blades for your application, guaranteed to wipe away all the frost, sleet and snow without wearing down, and various wiper-related components. Bosch, Trico, Windex and PIAA are some of our best brands, and we even carry heated wiper blades innovatively infused with a powerful heating element, capable of temperatures of up to 200°.

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