As the winter rapidly approaches, it’s an important time of year to be proactive and take care of your vehicle. “Winterizing” a car refers to getting your car ready before cold temperatures hit and snow and ice start to fall. Getting stranded in freezing weather is a situation that no one wants to face! Also, failure to prepare for winter can increase your chances of getting into an accident.
Perform recommended winter maintenance.
Last month, we put together a list of winter maintenance items including antifreeze/coolant, tires, windshield wipers, battery and wheel alignment. If you have not had your car serviced lately, make sure to address each of these areas.
Check tire pressure regularly.
When the temperature drops, tire pressure can change significantly. Most newer vehicles have a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) that will indicate if pressure drops too low, but it’s still a good idea to keep an eye on your tire pressure, especially after a sudden change in temperature.
Put a bag of sand or cat litter in your trunk.
After snowfall or an ice storm, you may find your car on a slippery surface. Sometimes, a little bit of sand can make a huge difference when trying to get a car out of a slippery parking spot.
Keep some supplies on hand in case you get stranded.
No matter how well you maintain your vehicle, there is always a chance that it may become temporarily inoperable. Winter storms can shut down roadways, and accidents are more frequent during adverse weather conditions. Here are a few items you’ll want to keep in your car:
- A flashlight with good batteries
- Heavy blankets
- Spare tire, jack and lug wrench
- Jumper cables (and make sure you know the proper way to use them)
Get in the habit of leaving extra time in the morning.
If you tend to leave the house in a rush, keep in mind that you may need extra time to defrost your vehicle and clear the snow and ice. Resist the temptation to cut corners on this—leave fifteen minutes earlier instead. Snow and ice debris can obscure visibility and can also create a hazard for other cars on the road. Finally, traffic tends to move more slowly during any adverse weather, so it will likely take longer to get where you’re going. Err on the side of caution.
If you bring your car to any of our three convenient Triangle locations, we’ll make sure your car is ready and primed for winter! Give us a call today to make your appointment.