Winter will be here before you know it. Depending on what area of the United States that you live you may encounter frigid temperatures, snow, and ice in the wintertime. Winter weather can be dangerous to drive in and can really do a number on your vehicle. Here are some tips to help you and your car get prepared for this weather:
- Check Your Coolant Levels: It is important to have the proper antifreeze and water mix to prevent the fluids from freezing in your radiator. Test to ensure this mix is accurate and top off fluids if necessary.
- Check and Change Oil: Some auto repair shops recommend a different oil viscosity depending on the weather. Check your car manual or with your local mechanic to ensure you have the proper oil for the temperatures in your area.
- Check/Change Wiper Fluid: Wiper fluid can freeze on your windshield during the winter months. Change out to a windshield washer formula that is formulated for the winter weather – some include a de-icer to help with ice formations.
- Inspect/Replace Tires: It is important to check tire pressure, tire tread and overall condition of your tires. Increase tire pressure if needed and if your tires are a little worse for wear – it may be time to get new ones. If you live in an area that receives a lot of snow, it may be best to get snow tires specifically for the wintertime.
- Check Battery: Cold weather can put a strain on your battery. Check all battery cable connections and have your battery tested to ensure it still is working properly.
- Keep De-Icer Nearby: During the cold wet weather, oftentimes car locks will freeze. It is important to get a tube of lock de-icer to have on hand. Don’t store it in your vehicle, as it will not be of help when the locks are iced over. It is wise to keep a tube in your purse, jacket pocket, and/or desk at work.
- Pack a Cold Weather Kit: Packing a cold weather kit in your car can be helpful if you ever have car trouble in the cold weather. The best items to keep in your emergency kit would be:
- Ice Scraper – helps de-ice your windows so you can see to drive
- Kitty Litter – can help with traction if you are having problems on the ice, plus it is good to have extra weight in your vehicle
- Road Flares – In case of an accident, road flares can help others see your vehicle
- Blanket, Extra Coat, Boots, Socks, etc. – It is always good to have extra warm items on hand in case you get stranded
- Flashlight with batteries – this will help if it gets dark
- Food and Water – something like protein bars, granola bars or nuts would be perfect to have on hand
- Tow rope – in case someone needs to tow you.
- Jumper cables – in case your car needs a jump
- Battery powered cell phone charger – to charge your phone in a hurry if you need to make an emergency call
- Snow shovel – Some people like to have a snow shovel in their vehicle. This can be helpful if stuck in the snow.
This winter, make sure you are prepared for any inclement weather by following these tips.