auto maintenance January 06, 2020

Top 10 Common Winter Driving Preparations

Each season of the year presents its own series of unique driving challenges, but the long, cold winter months are perhaps the most challenging of all, from a driving perspective.  In this article, we’ll outline the top 10 common winter driving preparations you can make. If you stick to this list, you’ll be well-positioned to handle whatever the winter weather throws at you.  Let’s take a closer look:

  1. An Emergency Supplies Box – Preparation is key, and although the hope is that you don’t break down during the winter months, if you do, being prepared can literally be the difference between life and death.  Make a supplies box and keep it in your car. At a minimum this box should contain:

    1. An extra set of warm clothing

    2. A box of protein bars

    3. A supply of water

    4. A flashlight with an extra set of batteries

    5. A hand radio

    6. Warm blankets

    7. A cellphone charger

    8. And any other small items you think may be of value if you find yourself stranded some distance from home.

  2. Check Your Tire Pressure – You want to keep a watchful eye on your tire pressure all winter long, so check it before First Snow and check again every couple of weeks.  An under inflated tires is an underperforming tire and in slippery conditions, performance matters.

  3. Check Your Tread Depth – Tread depth is another determinant of overall tire performance and if the tread on your tires is beginning to wear thin, then before it starts to snow, you’ll want to seriously consider investing in a net set.  If you’re not sure about the condition of your tread, bring your vehicle into the shop and let us have a look with you.

  4. Inspect Headlights and Brake Lights – The last thing on earth you want is to be stuck in a winter storm on a dark night and unable to see, or worse, because of a busted tail light, the guy behind you being unable to see you.

  5. Change Your Oil – Swap out to a lower viscosity oil during the winter months to prevent it from freezing.  If your oil freezes, you’re not going anywhere.

  6. Inspect Your Heater – This one should go without saying, but you’d be amazed at how often this one gets overlooked.  When the weather first starts getting cold, turn the heater on and test it. If it’s not working to your satisfaction, bring it in for service.

  7. Check Your Windshield Wipers – Another one that should go without saying but again, something that often gets overlooked.

  8. Have Your Car Battery Tested – Cold weather will seriously degrade the performance of your battery.  If it’s questionable, replace it before it turns too cold, or you run the risk of being stranded.

  9. Don’t Forget Your Jumper Cables – These should be placed right next to your winter supplies box.  As with that box, the hope is that you won’t need them, but better to have them handy just in case.

  10. Finally, check your anti-freeze!  Even better, bring your vehicle in and let us flush the system to check for leaks, then top the fluids off for you.

If you follow all of these tips, you’ll be miles ahead of the game and set yourself up for a hassle-free winter driving experience.

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