As it continues to get cold in January, February and March, there are some simple ways to prepare your car for the weather. You never know what can happen during the winter as black ice or drifting snow comes out of no where sometimes. Then what do you do?! If you prepared your car ahead of time you will be fine! If not, here are some things to keep in mind.
- Put a “winter supply” box in your car. Having a box full of winter supplies in your trunk can make all the difference when something goes wrong while traveling on a cold winter day.
b. Road flares
c. First-aid kit
d. A few blankets
e. A change of warm clothes for the driver
f. A few extra pairs of gloves
g. A radio
h. A charged cellphone for 911 calls
i. A bag of sand or kitty litter (for traction)
j. An extra ice scraper
k. Some high-energy snacks (like nuts or jerky)
l. Bottled Water
m. Jumper Cables
n. Towing Strap/chain
o. Small Shovel
p. Small knife
- Check your engine coolant and antifreeze levels. Antifreeze is the magical substance that keeps your engine from freezing during those times of the year when you feel like you are freezing. Without it, your engine can freeze, leaving you in a real pickle at a time when it’s dangerous to be stranded.
- Check your tire pressure and tread depth. Good tires are the key to staying on the road and keeping safe when the weather is questionable and snow and ice are falling from the sky.
- Use winter windshield wiper fluid. Not all windshield wiper fluid is the same. Ordinary fluid that you use in the spring, summer and fall often becomes worse than useless in the winter, as it freezes quickly upon contact with your windshield.
- Switch to a winter-grade oil at your next oil change. In general, the colder the weather, the thinner you want the oil in your engine to be. For example, a 5W-30 oil is better in the winter than a 10W-30 oil.
- Have your battery tested. Battery capacity decreases significantly in cold weather.
- Inspect headlights and brake lights. It’s vital to have fully functioning headlights and brake lights when dealing with thick winter fog or heavy snow.
- Inspect the windshield wipers. Replace them if they are worn or have become hardened.