As we head into one of the most traveled holidays of the year, it is important to make sure your vehicle is ready and safe for winter driving conditions. Let’s take a look at what you can do to make sure your vehicle is up to the task.
Always be prepared for unexpected emergencies with the proper tools and safety equipment to get your vehicle back on the road as quickly as possible. Flat tires are inconvenient but do not have to sideline you for long if you have the proper tools to change your tire. Make sure you have a jack, tire iron and spare tire.
If you are planning a long road trip it would be prudent to keep a new bottle of engine oil, washer fluid and coolant in your trunk. Make sure you have a good ice scraper with snow brush to clear your windows and vehicle of snow and ice. Never attempt to drive if you do not have a clear view of the road.
Flashlights and flares are important to signal for help and provide adequate light if you are changing a tire on the side of a dark road. A set of jumper cables and fire extinguisher should be in your trunk at all times. Keeping a warm blanket, extra gloves, socks and boots can be true lifesavers if you are stranded and waiting for help in bitter cold temperatures. Make sure you have a cell phone charger and power bank so that you can call for help if you need it.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Poor visibility can make driving in cold weather very dangerous. Make sure that your wiper blades are in top shape to perform well in all kinds of weather. It is advised to change your blades every 6-12 months because the rubber can deteriorate and make them ineffective.
You can easily look up your vehicle’s make, model and year at Walmart and it will show what size wiper blades you need.
Keep up with vehicle maintenance. Whether you do it yourself or bring your vehicle in to a mechanic, make sure that the oil and fluids are changed and refilled as needed. Oil, transmission fluid, antifreeze, brake fluid, belts, air filters and more should all be evaluated to make sure your engine is in top shape.
Make sure your vehicle’s battery is not too old. Batteries generally last for 3-5 years. Winter temperatures can be especially tough on your battery. If you are experiencing issues, replace your vehicle’s battery so you are not left stranded along the road. If you are shopping for a new battery, good news is that during fall many stores have them on sale. Right now you can find DieHard batteries on sale at Sears.
Check The Tires
Slick, snow covered or icy roads can lead to horrific accidents. Make sure your tires are ready for winter driving conditions. Check air pressure with a good quality tire gauge. Your owner’s manual will show you the correct air pressure for your tires. Snow tires should be used if you live in areas where winter hits hard. Whether you are using snow or regular tires, it is important to have them balanced and rotated regularly. Replace any worn or bald tires immediately. Tire Buyer has coupons you can use for big discounts and free shipping on new tires.
I hope these tips were helpful and assist you in preparing for holiday road trips and safe winter driving.