How to Prepare for Winter Driving

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It seems that autumn is leaving us just as quickly as it came. Some parts of the country are already gearing up for their first big snowfalls. Freezing rain, sleet, and snow present a number of different obstacles to us in our daily life. They also make road conditions more hazardous. In order to keep your car running properly and stay safe on the road, we’ve put together some strategies to keep in mind this winter.

There are several different things you can do right now in order to ensure that your car doesn’t cause any added stress during the winter months. Keep these tips in mind for a fun and safe winter with the family.

Switch to Winter Windshield Wiper Fluid
Not every windshield wiper fluid is made with the same chemicals. Some fluids that are fine during the summer can freeze upon contact with your windshield during freezing temperatures. This can create a scenario that is incredibly dangerous if it happens while you’re on the road. Ask your mechanic about purchasing some winter wiper fluid. These fluids are a bit more expensive than regular fluid, but they won’t freeze and they are made to break up ice that builds on the windshield overnight.

Pack Away a Winter Supply Box in the Car
This is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family to ensure personal safety. If something goes wrong on a winter day, you’ll be glad you were equipment for the elements while you fixed the vehicle and waited for assistance to arrive.

A complete winter supply box will include a warm change of clothes, a few blankets, a first aid kit, a bag of sand (for increased traction under tires), an ice scraper, snacks, a pair of gloves.

We understand that not every car is suited to carry these items. My family keeps these items in a large plastic container. The container sits in the garage during the summer, fall, and spring. We stow away the container and make sure it has all the necessary equipment at the start of each winter.

Refill on Engine Coolant and Antifreeze
Antifreeze is crucial to keeping your engine from freezing over during the harshest of weather conditions. Without adequate antifreeze levels, your engine could freeze over. This will leave you stranded while you wait for assistance to come give you a tow. Most automotive shops have kits that allow you to easily check antifreeze levels. If you need to add more, the process is also very simple. A Youtube video should teach you everything you need to know.

Check Tread Depth on Your Tires
Healthy tires are the best way to stay in control of your vehicle during inclement weather. Air condenses in the cold, and tire pressure may change with the temperature. Check your tire pressure regularly during the winter months and especially during a cold front or freeze. Also, keep an eye on your tire’s tread. Tread is needed to drive safely on roads with ice, water, and snow. The normal standard for healthy tread is the penny test. Put a penny in your tire’s tread with Lincoln’s head toward the tread. If all of Honest Abe’s head is exposed, your tire tread is worn too thin. We recommend replacing tires to ensure road safety if they fail this test.

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