With winter’s harsher weather on the horizon, it’s time again to prepare your vehicle for the challenges of dealing with snow and potential automobile events that are made worse by cold weather conditions. Before you travel anywhere else this winter, prepare your car by following these four tips:
Get a General Inspection
Drivers typically only get one inspection per year. As a result, many drivers find themselves facing expensive breakdowns and accidents that could have been prevented with a simple general inspection from an expert mechanic followed by a little TLC and maintenance. All it takes is one failure from a worn out or defective part to leave you sitting on the side of the road in the cold.
Repair All Rust Damage
Although body rust is unlikely to leave you stranded somewhere, there are bigger problems that you need to consider: Rusted sections of your vehicle’s body can allow toxic exhaust fumes and outdoor odors access to the car’s cabin. If you don’t sand and patch or at least temporarily seal rust spots, road salt and moisture can expand rusted areas until you’re forced to replace expensive panels.
Buy New Seasonal Tires
If your car’s tire aren’t all-seasonal or show signs of aging, visit a trusted tire replacement to replace your existing tires with new winter ones. Old balding and cracking tires can cause sliding and blowouts from rubber dry rot even during hot summer months and rain storms. A new set of winter tires has the right amount of new, thicker tread to provide you the traction and stability you need on cold and wet roads.
Install a Winter Emergency Kit
Although your car likely has a year-round emergency kit, it’s important to install winter items like thermal and standard blankets, heat packets, extra warm clothing, a shovel, an ice scraper and flares. Your kit should also have rock salt or kitty litter and a long length of rope or chain for when you’re stuck in snow drifts. Lastly, your emergency kit should contain the following year-round items if it doesn’t already: battery cables, a toolkit, a radio, a flashlight, extra batteries, matches, candles, non-perishable food, water and electrolyte beverages, a week’s worth of important medications and a medical kit.
These tips can help you prevent many major incidents and lower the amount of stress you experience. They can also save you time and money during and after the winter season. Remember to use great caution when driving during the winter months. Your vehicle may be prepared, but it’s likely those around you won’t be.