Freezing cold temperatures can stress out your vehicle…not to mention you as its driver. Here are a handful of tips to ensure your success before venturing out into the winter wonderland.c
- Tires Check Up – Tires need to have adequate tread with “grip” to propel you through the snow.
- Engine Tune-Up – Get your mechanic to check hoses, belts and anti-freeze. A weakened hose or belt can break and leave you stranded, or a weak solution of anti-freeze can ice up and damage your cooling system.
- Battery Check Up – Battery terminals/connection should be clean, tight and corrosion-free. The battery should be securely mounted. If the battery is three years old or more, have it tested and replace it if necessary.
- Heater & Defroster Check Up – If your heater isn’t working, you’ll probably know. But what about front and rear defrosters? Before you’re faced with a frosty windshield, turn your front and rear defrosters on and off to make sure they’re working.
- Brakes – Even the slightest concern that your brakes are not 100%…get them inspected immediately. If you have anti-lock brakes, you should avoid pumping the brakes if you begin to slide.
- Exhaust System Check Up – Ask your mechanic to double check the exhaust system for leaks, which can emit dangerous carbon monoxide into your car. If you become stuck in the snow and want to run the engine and heater, make sure your tail pipe is clear of the snow and crack open a window to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be fatal.
- Windshield Washer Fluid – Slush and mud splashed on a windshield can spell danger for a winter driver. Make sure your washer fluid reservoir is sufficiently full, and keep a spare jug in the trunk.
- Wiper Blades – Even if your windshield wiper blades are in good condition, you might want to upgrade to a rubber coated snow blade that can handle the extra weight of wet snow. They’re not expensive, and could make your winter driving a lot safer in the long run.
- Emergency Kit – stock it up with an ice scraper and snowbrush, jumper cables, flashlight, flares, blanket, extra clothes, candles/matches, bottled water, dry food snacks and needed medication.