Car & Electronics

How to Prepare Your Car for Winter Driving

As the weather gets colder, you can make sure that your vehicle is outfitted with the best winter tools to keep you safe on the road. In many parts of the country, the snow is already falling, creating hazardous conditions for everyone on the road. It’s more important than ever before that you take the time to prep your vehicle for the winter season. Whether you live in San Antonio or South Dakota, unexpected winter weather can hit at any time. In 2022, much of Texas was buried under several inches of snow for days.

It only takes seconds to end up slipping off the road and getting stranded in a ditch. Even if you have excellent driving skills, hazards like black ice can send you off the road waiting to be rescued. If you prep your vehicle for the season, you have a better chance of safely making it home and avoiding being stuck in a ditch.

No one wants to end up getting hurt in an accident and having to use the services of a South Dakota or San Antonio Injury Lawyers from sites like salinastriallaw.com. The best protection is being prepared. Let’s take a closer look at a few tips to help you prep your vehicle for winter driving.

Tires

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Before the snow flies and your neighbors start putting up their Christmas lights, you should take a look at your tires. You need to focus on the quality of your tire tread. Treads that are old and worn will not keep you on the road for long when it comes to wintery conditions. To check your tread, you can use the penny test. Simply put a penny down in your treads to check the depth. Ideally, you want to see only a quarter of the penny above the tread.

If your tread is getting shallow or balding, it’s time for new tires. For those who live in a country that gets regular winter weather, you may choose to switch out your tires to winter or all-season design. Winter tires are specifically designed to give you better traction on the road when things are slippery.

Always make sure that your tires are properly inflated. Tires that are low on air pressure will not give you the right traction on the road and could lead to slipping and sliding on the roads. Check your vehicle manual for the correct tire pressure.

Fluids

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The fluids that run your car, including antifreeze and motor oil, are an essential part of keeping your engine healthy. During the harsh conditions of winter, you want to make sure that your fluids are all updated. Adding a winter formula oil can help your car to start easily on those frigid mornings.

Always make sure that your engine has antifreeze so that it won’t seize up during cold nights. You should also make sure that you always have enough windshield wiper fluid to keep your windows clear.

Ice Brush

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During the winter, it’s likely that you will end up having to clear your car of snow and ice. While no one enjoys getting out in the driveway to clear off their car in the mornings, it’s an essential part of staying safe on the roads. Winter driving requires the best visibility. Don’t try to save time by only clearing enough snow and ice to see a limited view of your windshield. Clear all the windows, including the rear of the car, your mirrors, and your roof. While snow on your roof won’t necessarily interfere with your visibility, it can cause a hazard for cars that are driving behind you.

Heater Inspection

Getting into a freezing cold car isn’t pleasant. Before the temperatures start to drop, you should ensure that your vehicle’s heating system is working. A quick trip to the auto shop can help you to ensure that you won’t get left out in the cold. You may have to update your heater coils to ensure that your car warms up quickly during the winter. You don’t want to end up getting stranded without a heater to keep you warm.

Wipers

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Winter driving can be messy. Splashback from other vehicles on the road and slushy snow can make a mess out of your windshield. It’s important that you have the right wipers on your car before the winter weather hits your area. You may need to put on a new pair of heavy-duty wipers that will stand up to ice and freezing temperatures for the winter.

Always make sure that your wiper fluid is full. You will need to keep your windshield clean and clear to ensure that you have the best visibility on the roads during the winter.

Safety Kit

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If you end up stranded in a ditch during the winter, you will have a better chance of survival if your car is prepared with a safety kit. You could be stranded for hours in the cold, and you need to ensure that you have the right safety tools and equipment on hand in your vehicle. A standard winter car safety kit should include:

  • Thermal blanket
  • Water
  • Protein snacks
  • Extra clothes
  • Gloves and wool hat
  • Candles
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Folding shovel

Flares

Winter storms can make it difficult to see on the roads. If you end up sliding off the road, you want to make yourself as visible as possible to ensure your safety and make it easy for rescue vehicles to find you. You should always have a few emergency flares in your car during the winter. If you end up sliding off the road or into a ditch, you can light your flares around your car to help make you more visible and signal passing cars that you need help.

As weather patterns continue to change worldwide, there is no way to predict when you will be facing an unprecedented winter storm. For those that live in the south, it’s unlikely that you will have to deal with a lot of winter driving, but it can happen. For northerners, driving in winter conditions is an everyday occurrence. Taking the time to prep your car for winter driving can help you to stay safe on the roads and protect your family.

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