The temperatures are slowly dropping, and the leaves will begin to change soon. Winter is making its slow creep into our parts of the country. There is no way to avoid winter, so it’s best to embrace the upcoming changes.
When the seasons change, you switch over your wardrobe in anticipation for the cold weather. The same thing needs to happen with your vehicles. There are some things you should do for your car to get ready for the dreaded winter and the weather it brings along.
Prepare a Winter Supply Box
Every vehicle needs to have a box of supplies for emergencies. Being prepared is the number one thing you should do during the cold weather. It can make a huge difference in the event of an emergency during a snowy or icy day.
The items you put in your box will vary from person to person. All of them can be kept in a plastic container in your trunk. However, everyone should keep some basic items such as:
- A few blankets
- A flashlight
- Road flares
- First-aid Kit
- Bag of sand
- Warm clothes for each person in the family
- Ice scraper
- Water and healthy snacks like nuts and granola bars
- Jumper cables
Check Coolant and Antifreeze Levels
Do you ever wonder how your engine never manages to freeze up on those crazy cold days? The answer is a great liquid in your car called antifreeze. You need to make sure your levels stay where they belong to prevent your engine from freezing, which could leave you stranded.
Winter Windshield Wiper Fluid
The fluid you are using may not be ideal for winter because it will freeze when it makes contact. Your windshield will end up an icy mess. Most stores carry a winter fluid option that is made for the extreme cold. It will loosen the ice and snow as well.
Store Your Car Inside
If you have a garage, the winter is the best time to use it. On snowy days, having a garage with an automatic opener, like some of the great ones from Garage Automatics, are very convenient. They allow you to leave your house without scraping ice and snow. For families with children, a garage is the best place to get all of your children situated in the car.
Watch the Tire Pressure and Tread Depth
Winter, with snow and ice, is the last time you want bad tires. Tires, with correct pressure and depth, are the key to staying safe when bad weather strikes.
Checking your tire pressure is an easy step. You use a gauge to determine each tire’s pressure. Your manual will tell you what the recommended levels, and, if they are off, fill them up. This is one of the easiest things you can do, plus tires with low pressure use more gasoline.
Checking your tread depth can be a little more difficult. However, the tread is needed to keep your tires on the road when it snows. One way to determine if your tires are ok is called the Lincoln Test. All you need is a penny, and everyone has a penny somewhere. Put the penny into your tread, with the top of Lincoln’s head pointing towards the tire. If you see all of Lincoln’s head, you need new ones before the start of the bad weather.
Test Your Battery
The extreme cold weather can make your battery slow down or die altogether. The last thing you want is to be stranded with a dead battery on a cold evening. Most auto shops can test your battery to let you know if it is struggling to hold a charge. If so, it will need to be changed