Winter is fast approaching and will be here before you know it. For some, this means a high probability of cold, ice, and snow. Even if severe winter weather isn’t the norm where you live, seasonal car care can help you prepare just in case.
- Have a mechanic give your car a once-over. Check the thermostat, heater, brakes, and defroster. Now is also a good time to check fluid levels, especially the antifreeze. You can also have the battery tested for an adequate amount of charge. The cold, winter weather is no time to be stranded with a car that won’t start!
- Inspect your tires. Tires with inadequate tread won’t grip the road as they should, creating a higher risk of getting in an accident. If your area warrants it, consider switching to a set of snow tires which will grip snowy and icy roads better than regular tires.
- Ensue your lights are working properly. Also look for cracks in the light casing to be sure moisture cannot get inside. Remember, it’s getting darker earlier, so you’ll need to rely on the lights more frequently.
- Prepare your windshield. Clear your windshield wiper fluid nozzles of debris to ensure they are working. Refill your wiper fluid. Keep a bottle of extra fluid in the car in case you run out and need to add more on the go.
- Pack a winter kit for the car. Include an ice scraper, bottled water, extra clothes, a blanket, matches, non-perishable snacks, and flashlights. If you get stranded, you’ll be glad to have these items. For rear-wheel drive vehicles, keep a small bag of sand in the trunk to create traction in case you’re stuck in the snow.
- Fill your tank. Keep the gas tank at least half-full throughout the winter months. This makes it easier to start the car and helps make sure you don’t run out of gas when you’re out on the road.
- Clear the snow. When those storms eventually hit, be sure to clean all snow off your car before you hit the road. In many states, driving with snow on your roof is illegal. Ice and snow on your roof can slide off the back as you accelerate and create danger for those behind you. If you stop short, it could slide down your windshield obstructing your view.
Winter weather can be dangerous to drive in, but it’s hard for anyone to avoid it completely. The best thing you can do is make sure you and your car are ready for whatever the season throws your way.
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