Winter and cold weather is here and you want to be prepared, and you want your car to be prepared. It’s very important to your car that you do some things in preparation for the cold weather in order to keep it running.
There’s nothing worse than being stranded on the side of the road in the middle of a snow storm because your car couldn’t handle the cold weather, so here are some things you need to do to prepare your car for the cold.
You want to make sure you check every inch of your car to ensure it works properly throughout the winter. To start with, check under the hood. You want to make sure the fluids are topped off. In particular, check the antifreeze. You want to make sure the antifreeze is a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water so that it keeps your radiator running just right.
The windshield washer fluid is another essential fluid in the winter. With all the dirt kicked up on the roads, you’ll want to make sure you can keep your windows clear.
Make sure your battery posts are clean. Cars tend to have a harder time starting in the cold, but you can help keep the juices flowing by keeping the battery posts clean.
Inspect your spark plugs. You want to make sure there are no cracked ones. Having good sturdy spark plugs will help improve the overall performance of your vehicle and give you better gas mileage. Who doesn’t want better gas mileage with the cost of gas today?
Now’s a good time to get an oil change if you have been putting it off. This of course should be done regularly year round, but if you have been slacking on this important upkeep of your car, then now is the time to get it done to avoid any problems during the dead of winter.
Moving outside the car, look at your tires. Check the tread depth using a penny. There’s nothing worse than bald tires in a snow storm, so get it checked now so you’re good all winter. Make sure your tire pressure is good as well.
Check your windshield wipers. You will probably be using them a lot in the winter so you want to make sure you don’t have worn wiper blades. You need to be able to see out of your windshield when you’re driving and you can’t do that if you can’t properly clear the winter muck off of your windows.
Check your lights and signals as well. Get some replacement bulbs to keep in the car in case they should go out. Check your heater and defroster, too.
Don’t forget the brakes. This is the last place you want to cut corners when it comes to car maintenance anytime of the year, but it can be especially important in the winter. So make sure those brake pads are not grinding before you find yourself in a precarious situation.
Now, no matter how prepared you may be for the winter or how on top of maintenance you may be, stuff happens. So you want to make sure you have everything you need in your trunk to keep yourself safe in the event of an emergency. Your emergency kit in your trunk should include:
* A blanket, flares
* Jumper cables
* Tools (a pocket knife, screw driver, and a wrench)
* Flashlight with extra batteries
* Something reflective to put in the windows
* Some kitty litter for traction
* Snow removal tools for the windshield and a small shovel
* Bottled water and snacks
* Something to pass the time until help arrives
Following these tips will definitely give you a good chance of not getting stranded and if you do, then you will have everything you need to make it a little more comfortable until help comes.