Winter weather is not just hard on our cars, it can be dangerous as well. When snow falls and the mercury plummets, drivers need to be wary of hazardous conditions. Don’t be caught unprepared. Have your car ready for when the cold north-wind blows.
Check Your Car Battery
Make sure your battery has enough charge. The wires should be free of cracks and all attachments should be firmly in place.
Are Your Tires Ready for Ice and Snow?
Worn tires and tires with low air pressure can be dangerous when the roads get iced over or wet from rain. Fill your tires to their recommended pressure. Also, snow tires are specially designed for winter conditions. If you are in a snowy part of the country, consider changing all four tires before winter weather hits.
Wiper Blades Are Key to Good Visibility
Driving in snow can be risky enough. The last thing you need is windshield wipers that smear rather than clear. Pay attention to how your wipers are performing and install new ones if needed.
The Right Engine Oil Can Make the Difference
Most engine oils are designed to handle a wide range of temperatures, but some are designed specifically to deal with freezing weather. For that last oil change before winter comes, get yourself the right oil for the season.
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Do You Have Enough Antifreeze?
The cooling system in a modern car usually takes antifreeze and water in equal proportions. If the weather gets cold enough, though, you might need to add more antifreeze. Even a 70/30 ratio is not too much for extreme temperatures. Check the antifreeze container for the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Keep Your Locks Working
Frigid weather can freeze the locks of your car, which can leave you stranded outside your vehicle. Prevent this with silicone spray or a door-lock lubricant. If your locks have already frozen, a lock antifreeze or glycerin will get them working again.
Stock Your Car with Supplies
Despite your precautions, you might find yourself stuck and far from immediate help. Prepare for any eventuality by keeping the right supplies with you when you drive, even on short trips. You’ll want the following items:
- Flashlight (with fresh batteries)
- Ice scraper
- Blanket, gloves and hat
- Kitty litter to give traction for tires stuck in the snow
- Food and water
Don’t take chances this winter. Prepare for winter conditions and even the possibility of being stranded. With a little preparation, you’ll be ready for the cold weather. Keep yourself and your family safe this winter.