Driving in cold temperatures and winter weather is a completely different ball game from dealing with summer construction zones and the weather during the warmer times of year. Preparing for seasonal challenges while driving can keep you safer on the road and prevent problems when the snow and ice hit. Here are some tips for winter car preparation.
When to Winterize Your Car
You should think about winterizing your car in the fall, before you get snow or ice in your area. You want to be prepared for the cold weather. Consider where you live and drive. If you drive in the mountains, you may need to winterize your car much earlier for lower temperatures and bad weather. You should consider the age and condition of your car as you winterize. If your car battery is already having a hard time turning over in mild weather, the colder temperatures will make it much worse. You may want to get a head start over Mother Nature by winterizing as early as September so you can budget your repairs.
Tips For Winterizing Your Car
Winter conditions demand that your truck’s brakes, tires and engine be in good working condition. Have your vehicle checked out for the winter weather when you get your oil changed in the fall. Make sure that you’re using the right antifreeze ratio for your truck. Check the belts, wires and cables for any issues. You don’t want to get stranded in the cold.
Check Your Tires
It’s time to switch to winter tires if you live in a place that gets cold with a lot of snow and ice. If you’re not switching, check the tire tread to make sure you have stopping power on slicker roads. Check the tire tread in 10 to 15 places, not just one. While you’re checking tread, check the tire pressure. When the weather starts to get cold, it can decrease tire pressure, which leaves your tires underinflated. Put a set of truck tire chains in the trunk. You may also want to practice putting them once or twice before you have to do it on a cold, stormy night.
Install New Wiper Blades
A wintry mix of sleet, snow and ice wreaks havoc on your windshield wipers. Winter wipers can handle stress. Save your regular set to swipe them out in the spring. Make sure your defrosters, front and rear, are in good condition.
Pack a Safety Kit
Getting stranded in the cold is much more dangerous than in the summer months. You’ll want to have a few extra things in your trunk, just in case. A bag of sand or kitty litter along with a shovel can help you get unstuck in a snowbank. Check your jumper cables for cleanliness. Throw in a couple of blankets and extra gloves and hats. You may even want to include non-perishable food, protein bars, and water. Having extra anti-freeze and your car tools is a good plan.
Remind Yourself How to Drive in Winter Conditions
Make sure you know how to drive when it’s snowing or sleeting. Know what to do if you start skidding. Remember that you’ll need more stopping distance on snowy roads. Refresh yourself on winter driving tips.
Get your winter accessories from AutoZone.