ESSENTIAL STEPS TO GET YOUR VEHICLE READY FOR WINTER
When winter approaches, make sure to prepare your vehicle for colder weather. Doing so ensures your safely, saves money, and will keep you comfortable throughout winter. It takes just a few steps.
Ask yourself these questions. For your vehicle, have you...
- Had your vehicle serviced? Ask your mechanic to perform an inspection: test the battery and brakes, inspect the exhaust, check the cooling system, check fluids, change the oil, and make sure all components are working properly. Check the vehicle's owner's manual for information on the correct fluid types and recommended service intervals.
- Checked the wiper blades? Inspect your wiper blades to make sure they're functional and in good condition. If you live in an area that typically sees lots of snow and ice, consider installing winter blades. Store an ice scraper in the car, and stock up on windshield washer fluid rated to withstand -30 degrees or lower temperatures.
- Monitored the fuel line? Today's ethanol fuels remove small amounts of water from your fuel system to help prevent freezing. In addition, you can help avoid freeze-ups by keeping your vehicle in a heated garage, avoiding refueling while the tanker truck is at the gas station (water and deposits from the tanker could end up in your fuel line), and by keeping your gas cap secured. Another solution: Always keep the tank at least half-full.
- Inspected the tires? Check for uneven wear, cupping, sidewall cracking, and other damage or deterioration. Also examine tire treads to make sure the grooves are deep enough to grip slick surfaces. If your tires fail any of these tests, replace them with all-season tires, or, in extreme winter environments, with winter snow tires. Wonder if your tires have enough tread? Try the penny test: Stick a penny (Lincoln head first) into one of the grooves that goes completely around the tire. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, your tread is worn down below 2/32 of an inch and should be replaced.
- Stocked the trunk with essential emergency supplies? Essentials include: Flares, jumper cables, a shovel, a first-aid kit, a flashlight, extra batteries, non-perishable snacks and water, and cold-weather gear.
Get ready for winter diving with these essential steps.
Learn more timely travel and winter weather driving tips with our VEHICLE PREPAREDNESS CHECKLIST.