From a frosty morning to a serious blizzard, find out how to winterize your car to prepare for the worst of winter weather. Commute safely and stay warm as you drive with these preparation tips and products.
Check Your Tires
Your tires need proper levels of tread and pressure to keep you safely on the road. Worn-down treads and low-pressure tires aren’t safe in any weather situation but can be even more concerning in the middle of winter. It’s particularly important to check your tire pressure in the winter because temperature changes can cause pressure changes.
Consider investing in winter tires for even more traction. These specialized tires aren’t suited for year-round use but can be helpful in snowy conditions and low temperatures.
Keep Yourself From Getting Stuck
Getting stuck in a snow ban or ice patch is a frustrating situation. If you’re away from home, then it can also be a hazardous situation. While it’s important to know how to get your car out of a snow bank, you should also avoid getting stuck in the first place.
First, drive safely for the road conditions. This often means less than the speed limit in the winter. Snow and ice can cause you to suddenly lose traction and control of your vehicle. Falling snow also limits visibility.
Driving safely is also important when turning or braking. Icy roads mean you need significantly more time to slow down your vehicle. Cautiously press down on the brakes to avoid locking them up or causing your wheels to spin.
Prepare Your Tire Chains
Some snowstorms and blizzards call for tire chains. Check local laws to see if this safety gear is allowed. In some cases, it’s required for winter driving.
Tire chains offer serious traction improvements when driving in snow and ice. They should be sized appropriately to your wheels. Don’t wait until the middle of a blizzard to try them on but practice taking them on and off before an emergency.
Pack an Emergency Kit
Stay safe if your car becomes stuck in a snowbank or dies without warning in a blizzard. A winter-weather emergency kit should include these items:
- First-aid kit
- Warm blankets and clothing
- Snow shovel
- Flares or reflectors
- Food and water
- Ice scraper
- Sand or road salt
- Jumper cables or battery charger
Test Your Battery
Cold temperatures can limit the charge your battery has. If your battery is over three years old, then extremely cold temperatures and low charge levels may cause it to crack. Test your battery periodically in the winter to ensure it remains fully charged and capable of receiving a charge.
Inspect Fluid Reservoirs
Keep your fluid reservoirs topped up to avoid overheating your engine, compromising your brake system or running out of windshield washer fluid. Low fluid levels can be a problem in any weather but are particularly dangerous in a snowstorm or blizzard.
Prepare for Winter Weather With Reliable Auto Products
Maintain a safe driving experience all year with reliable automotive products. Shop online or head to your local store to explore emergency kits, replacement batteries and other wintertime preparation parts.