Tips for Preparing Your Vehicle for the Winter
While winter weather is beautiful, driving in a snowstorm is anything but wonderful. One part of preparing yourself for the winter is readying your car to drive in everything from slippery sleet to falling snow. Keep things simple and safe with these tips for preparing your vehicle for the winter. Winterizing your car means keeping everyone safe on the road.
Prepare for Emergencies
Keep yourself ready for the unknown by having an emergency bag in your trunk with (a):
- Jumper cables
- Spare tire
- Reflective triangles
- Gloves, boots, a hat, etc.
- First-aid kit
Experts also recommend you have a blanket or sleeping bag to keep warm, especially in parts of the country where it can reach below-freezing temperatures. Additionally, you may want to keep bottled water and some energy bars with your emergency supplies in case you get stranded.
Secure Stable Communication
Consider equipping your vehicle with a cellular signal booster. Doing so ensures you have a strong signal whether you’re in the mountains or trapped in a snowstorm. Winter weather could impair your signal if winds or other conditions knock out a cellular tower.
As you look over your car, make sure your brake and windshield fluids remain filled. Use a winterized version of these fluids. Both of these are essential when you drive in a snowstorm, so keep them topped off throughout the season.
Use the Right Fluids
It’s vital to use winterized fluids during the winter. If you used the same windshield wiper fluid as you would use in the summer, you’d risk it freezing. That’s the last thing you want to happen. To avoid problems and frustration, always double-check that you’re using the correct fluids.
Inspect Your Tire Pressure
Your tires are among the most important parts of your car, and in the winter, they may deflate a bit. You should make sure your tire pressure is between 30 and 35 PSI at the start of the season and fill them whenever necessary.
Visit the Mechanic
Sometimes a professional opinion is best, specifically as it pertains to safety, so plan a trip to the mechanic to have your tires rotated or replaced with a set of snow tires.
Driving safely and obeying the rules of the road is as important as preparing your vehicle. While it’s easy to speed—especially if you’re in a rush on your way to work or a holiday party—you should never do it.
Accidents happen—so give yourself a 5 – 10 minute buffer. Additionally, always wear a seatbelt and keep on the lookout for black ice.
By preparing your vehicle and following the rules of the road, you ensure a safe ride every time you step into your car this winter!