Winter Car Care Tips to Keep You On The Road
Mother Nature can wreak havoc on our commute no matter what season, but take extra precautions during the winter months, especially as temperature plunge. A few extra minutes spent now, can keep you from being stranded roadside, so before you go make sure you check:
Battery: Aging batteries can be extremely sensitive to cold temps, but even a new battery typically has only 50% of it’s normal power when the thermometer dips to 0 degrees. So, check the fluid in your battery to ensure appropriate levels (check your owner’s manual if you have questions.) Alternately you can take your vehicle to a service station and have the battery professionally checked. A weakened battery may just need to be charged.
Oil: If your engine seems a little sluggish in the frigid weather, it’s not your imagination. Motor oil will thicken with the cold, which reduces flow and makes it harder for the engine to turn over. We recommend having the il changed, filters too, to reduce the resistance. While you’re at it you might as well have the radiator checked, and re-fill the windshield washing fluid too.
Tires: Check your tires for wear and tear. Diminished treads are the leading cause of spin outs due to loss of traction. Even trace amounts of snow on the ground can wreak havoc with balding tires. After all, we do live in New England and must expect snow. If you are lucky enough to be able to stay home on “snow days” then a good set of all-season tires will likely do the trick. Many need to travel to and from work, school, etc. regardless of the snow, and should consider winter tires. Winter tires are specifically made to grip snow and ice for maximum traction. For more on winter tires…
Wiper Blades & Windshield: Many accidents are easily prevented just by increasing visibility. NEVER attempt to operate your vehicle without clearing snow and ice from the windows. Always carry an ice scraper with a sturdy snow brush with you. New England weather can crop up unexpectedly, so be prepared. In addition, snow covered roads usually equate to sand and salted roads. This debris kicks up on your windshield causing the wipers and washing fluid to work overtime. Frequently check wiper blades, washer fluid and replace or replenish as needed.
Emergency Kit: Check your emergency car preparedness kit for seasonal items such as gloves, blankets or other winter gear, as well as portable shovel, sand or ice melt, and a scraper. Refill season neutral items, such as road flares, flashlights with batteries, jumper cables, tire gauge and tow ropes. As cold and flu season often coincides with winter months, now is also to perfect time to re-stock your tissues, hand sanitizer and stash of pain reliever/fever reducer medications.
Whether or not you love winter, you cannot prevent it from coming. So, best be prepared for all the season may have in store. Please share these brief winter auto tips. Contact us with questions or policy renewal challenges, firstname.lastname@example.org.