The transition into winter brings not only snow, freezing rain and ice, but also many elements of difficult challenges; especially when it comes to the safe operation of your vehicles. There are numerous things you can do before winter arrives to safeguard your car during the cold months ahead. Now is the best time to get these things sorted, to ensure you won’t be stuck without an option when you need it the most.
Here are some approaches to make winter driving safer:
Prepare a Winter Supply Kit for your car
A kit of winter supplies in your vehicle can be the difference between life and death, so make sure you return anything you take out at any given point through winter.. Things to consider putting into your winter supply kit are a first-aid kit, flashlight, a number of blankets, a spare set of warm or thermal clothing, road flares, gloves, a radio, a charged cell phone for emergency calls, a bag of sand for traction, an ice scraper and a good supply of long-life snacks like jerky or nuts.
Replace your engine coolant and antifreeze before winter hits
Antifreeze is what keeps your engine from freezing during winter, and without it, your engine can freeze, at a time when you don’t want to be stranded. It’s a great idea to have the fluids replaced before winter by a professional, that way you are ensured that the levels will be correct. If you are not knowledgeable enough to check your own levels of these fluids, make sure you visit your local auto shop to help you out.
Switch to a lower viscosity (winter friendly) oil
The colder the weather, the thinner you want the oil in your engine to be. Before winter commences, you should switch to oil with a lower cold weather viscosity grade. Have this done in your pre-winter car service.
Check your tire pressure and tread depth
When there is frozen water falling from the sky, it’s comforting to know that you have good tires. Good tires, with the correct amount of pressure can save your life, and the lives of others in an emergency, so have a professional check them before winter hits. You can also purchase a tire pressure gauge from an auto supply store, and it might pay to keep it in your winter supply kit. If you live in a particularly cold or snowy area, you may want to consider fitting winter tires before the season begins. It can’t hurt to keep a set of chains in your supply kit, for extreme emergencies.
Use anti-freeze windshield wiper fluid
Normal wiper fluids freeze rapidly when they hit the cold air, which is quite hazardous when on your windshield, so make sure you use a winter safe fluid, which is designed to not freeze on your windshield.
Keeping yourself, your family and other people safe is of utmost importance, so taking the advice above will not only prevent an inconvenience, it might actually save a life this winter.