Winter is one of the most dangerous times to drive your car. Everything from snow and ice patches to reduced visibility and freezing weather can play an adverse role on your vehicle. Below are 8 steps you should take to prepare your vehicle for the winter.
Change Your Wipers
Many winter accidents are caused by a lack of visibility. And poor performing wipers can allow snow and ice to build up on the windshield. Check the effectiveness of your wipers. If they are not performing well, don’t wait. Replace your wipers before the first snow storm hits.
Change Your Oil
Since oil tends to get thicker when the weather gets colder, it’s a good idea to change out your oil before the big freeze hits. New oil allows for better viscosity in the engine and will help your vehicle operate properly during the winter months.
Check Belt and Hoses
It’s not often that you check your belts and hoses. And any small cracks can cause big problems in freezing weather. Check your belts and hoses and make any replacements to older belt or hose parts.
Check Your Battery Connections
The last thing you need is a dead battery in the middle of a blizzard. Now is a good time to check the connections to see if there is any corrosion. If your battery is more than three years old, then you may want to consider replacing that battery.
Switch to Snow Tires
If you live in an area that gets lots of snow, then you will want to get some good snow tires on your vehicle. It is a good idea to get your snow tires before the first blizzard comes to town.
Have an Emergency Kit
If you get stranded in cold weather, then you have to prepared for the worst. And that could mean spending the night in your vehicle. Here are some items that you should included in your winter vehicle emergency kit.
- Extra boots and gloves
- A blanket
- An ice scraper
- Emergency food and water
- A powerful flashlight
- A small shovel
- Jumper cables
- Tool kit
- Kitty litter or sand to help your tires get traction in case you get stuck in snow
- A spare tire with air
Check Your Antifreeze Mixture
To prevent your antifreeze from solidifying, then you will have to make sure you have a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water. You can use an antifreeze tester to check the mixture. If the mixture is off, then change it immediately.
Have a Plan If You Get Stranded
If you get stranded then you need to have to plan to survive the worst winter weather. Here are tips you should follow.
- Light two flares on each side of the car.
- Crack open the window on the driver’s side so the door doesn’t freeze shut.
- If you still have gas in the car, turn on the engine for 10 minutes for each hour that you are stranded.
- Put on your coat and your emergency blanket.