Worrying about going outside and staying warm this winter can be stressful. How many layers do you really need? It’s always good to expect the unexpected. Layers are helpful for warmth, but not an unexpected breakdown. Use these tips to ready your car for the unexpected.
First thing’s first, be prepared for a breakdown. Everyone should have a Winter ICE Kit (pun intended) in the back of their vehicle in case the unexpected happens. During a breakdown in extreme temperatures, items in this kit will keep you safe and prove helpful Recommended items to put in your ICE kit are: a flashlight, road flares, high-energy snacks like trail mix or beef jerky, bottles of water, a first-aid kit, blankets, toboggans/gloves, a bag of kitty litter or sand (can help you get unstuck from ice/slush), an ice scraper and a small shovel. You never know what could happen and it’s best to be prepared!
With the temperatures dropping, your vehicle fluids run the risk of freezing up inside of your engine if not monitored and replaced correctly. Coolant is the biggest threat in this category, as it needs to consist of a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze. Also, windshield wiper fluid is often overlooked and can freeze up inside of its tank, leaving you with limited visibility while you drive. If you live in an area that is predicted to frequently drop below freezing temperatures, you might want to switch your car to a winter-grade oil. If you’re not sure, just ask your mechanic if you should switch your winter-grade!
You tires can be the difference between disaster and safety during hazardous winter weather. In order to safely travel on slippery wet roads, tires should be inflated correctly and monitored to make sure they have adequate tread. If you don’t know if your tires are reliable, your mechanic can help you with that too!
If you don’t know the inconvenience of going to start your car in the parking lot and realizing you have a dead battery, it’s not fun. It’s even worse in the winter! You should know that cold hinders functionality of many vehicle components, including the battery. To avoid inconvenience, make sure all terminals are snug, and your battery fluid level is good to go. You also need to make sure your battery is charged and doesn’t need to be replaced anytime soon. The average battery needs to be replaced after 4 years of use.
The best way to stay safe in the winter is to stay prepared. Stay inside and stay warm during inclimate weather, but be ready for the road just in case!