Preparing Your Car for the Winter

During the winter season you definitely think of having a good time on the beach more often as you do in summer. And if you dwell in the Snow Belt, such thought may be accompanied by worries, seeing snow and wind outside your window. It may be a very good way to make great winter landscape photos, but ice and snow are not the best conditions to go driving and keep your car safe.
Securing yourself from such accidents implies winterizing the vehicle
Here are certain things to consider doing before the first snows come to your place if you don't want to get in trouble on the road:

  • Perform a seasonal check of your car with a certified and experienced mechanic. See if your tires are inflated enough and have a good grip of the road, check your antifreeze, defrost and heating systems, setup new wiper blades if necessary and see if your brakes are working properly.

  • Make sure to have the following items in your car during the winter season: ice scraper, cell phone, snow shovel, flashlight, tire chains, jumper cables, blankets, lock deicer, food and water.

  • Make an extra copy of your car key to avoid locking yourself outside of your car.

  • It's better to keep your vehicle in the garage during the cold season in order to avoid start up problems.

  • Auto clubs are a very good help in the winter, especially when you need a free jump start or tow.

  • Keep your auto insurance in order and make sure it's sufficient/ Winter is the season of increased traffic risks and it's more likely to have a mishap during that time. So keep your coverage amounts over the minimum.

Additional tips on winter car driving:
Besides following the car storage tips, there are also some guidelines on how to drive your car in the winter that you might find helpful:

  • It's better to keep all of your windows clean to have a better view during bad weather. Wipers and defrosters are your best helpers in this, and don't hesitate to stop your car and clear your windows if you have a bad view from your car.

  • Try using highways and main roads during the winter time, because the back roads are more likely to be covered with snow and ice.

  • Keeping your tank full with gas is a must because running out of it in the cold means much more trouble than during the warmer seasons.

  • Defensive driving is a must. Being aggressive on a snowy road is the same as driving 100 mph with a blindfold on.

  • Know how to drive your car in snow. See how the vehicle responds to complicated weather conditions. Try practicing at an empty parking lot for that.

  • Test your brakes on a regular basis when driving in complicated conditions, and see how their respond changes with the shift in environment.

  • In case your car breaks down, stay with your auto until help arrives and use the heat of the running motor to stay warm. However make sure to not run out of gas.

  • Be as rational as possible. Drive responsibly, or don't drive at all if the weather is too poor and the visibility makes it impossible to drive a car properly. Have good car insurance coverage for emergency.

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