Winter, Your Car, and You

2/22/2011
Be Prepared for Winter Driving...

Winter, Your Car, and You

 
Driving in the winter means snow, sleet, and ice that can lead to slower traffic, hazardous road conditions, hot tempers and unforseen dangers. To help you make it safely through winter, here are some suggestions to make sure that you and your vehicle are prepared.
 

Your Car :

 
Prepare your car for winter. Start with a checkup that includes:
  • Checking the ignition, brakes, wiring, hoses and fan belts. 
  • Checking the battery. 
  • Checking the tires for air, sidewall wear and tread depth. 
  • Checking antifreeze level and the freeze line. 
Your car should have a tune-up (check the owner's manual for the recommended interval) to ensure better gas mileage, quicker starts and faster response on pick-up and passing power.
 

Necessary Equipment :

 
An emergency situation on the road can arise at any time and you must be prepared. Following the tuneup, a full tank of gas, and fresh anti-freeze, your trunk should carry:
  • A properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench and tripod-type jack 
  • A shovel 
  • Jumper cables 
  • Tow and tire chains 
  • A bag of salt or cat litter 
  • Tool kit 
In addition, if you are driving long distances under cold, snowy, and icy conditions, you should also carry supplies to keep you warm, such as heavy woolen mittens, socks, a cap, and blankets. It is also important to listen to forecasts on radio, TV, cable weather channel, or forecasts in the daily papers to prepare yourself for the upcoming drive.