If there’s one thing we can be certain of regarding winters in North Carolina, it’s that they’re unpredictable year-to-year. While we all love snow sledding and forming snow angels, that same wintry mix that sparks post-holiday joy can also cause hazardous road conditions. Below are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare your vehicle for the coldest months of the year.
Hope for the Best—Prepare for the Worst
Ensure your vehicle has the proper supplies and equipment to handle the worst possible winter weather scenario. While an ice scraper should already be tucked into your car, other tools to keep handy include a broom in case of snow build up and even a snow shovel. If your vehicle gets stuck in the snow, a moisture-absorbing material such as sand or cat litter can help you get you the vehicle out of rut. In addition, low temperatures may affect your battery power, so keep jumper cables handy if you don’t already, which brings us to our next point…
Check The Battery
As previously mentioned, low temperatures can negatively affect the longevity of your vehicle’s battery. It also causes your battery to absorb more power when starting the vehicle. We would suggest having your battery tested to ensure it meets voltage requirements and has reliable amperage and reserve capacity. Our automotive experts can let you know whether the battery needs to be replaced or if any simple system repairs are necessary to meet the demands of winter weather.
Revamp Your Windshield Washer System
You may be able to get away with a lackluster windshield washer system three out of four seasons, but the components in this system are key for efficient visibility when facing the wintry months. Windshield wiper fluid will help keep your windshield clean from not only snow and ice, but also salt used to combat ice on busy roads. This fluid tends to drain fast, so make sure to fill your vehicle’s washer reservoir any time there’s snow in the forecast. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to keep a container of fluid with wintry de-icing technology in your vehicle as well. In addition, have your wiper blades checked or replaced and assess the performance of your front and rear window defrosters.
Be Mindful of How the Rubber Hits the Road
In an earlier article we discussed the method of slow acceleration and steady braking to save money on gas in the long term. The same method should be applied when driving in snowy or icy conditions. You’d never want to get stuck in a position where your tires lose traction on a wet or icy road and your vehicle skids out. If there’s potential ice on the road, keep enough distance between you and your lead vehicle so that you don’t have to stop suddenly.