If there is a part of the country that knows winter, it’s this one. We don’t complain about our cold, snowy winters. We use them as bragging rights. (And after the polar vortex of 2018, can you blame us?) But just because we are used to the snow doesn’t mean that we are always quite ready for mother nature to propel us into a winter wonderland. That’s why it’s important to review how to prepare your car for snow before the snow starts.
We all know that having a good pair of winter tires is essential. Sometimes the trick isn’t knowing that the tires are needed, but remembering to put them on before the first snowfall. Set a day on the calendar to put your old snow tires on the car or to go out and purchase new ones. Along with the tires, consider going and having your wheels realigned. Having your alignment done will ensure that all four tires are on the road evenly and that steering is working as well as it should. This means better handling for the wintery roads ahead.
There are a lot of fluids sloshing about in your car that you’ll need to travel safely in the snow. The first is anti-freeze. Anti-freeze helps regulate engine temperature and reduce the point at which liquids in the engine ice over. In other words, anti-freeze keeps the engine from freezing. That’s rather important for when the weather outside turns frightful.
Car oil doesn’t prevent an engine from freezing, but it does keep a car from stalling. So, if you don’t want to end up stranded on the side of the road in a blizzard, an oil change is a good idea, especially given how many extra miles we tend to drive during the holiday months. Brake fluid also is crucial in the winter with the roads doing everything in their power to make braking impossible. Lastly, with the road salt and wintery grime all fighting to reduce visibility, you will want to make sure you check on your windshield wiper fluid.
Snowy Weather “Tool Kit”
Preparing your car for winter doesn’t just mean fixing up the car itself; it means loading the car up with things that can save you heartache in the wake of snowy weather. Here are a few things you ought to load in your trunk:
- Windshield scraper
- Can of gas
- Tool kit
- Kitty litter or sand (to help your car regain traction if you get stuck in a snowbank)
So, go ahead and tell your friends from warmer states that you can survive anything if you can survive a winter around here. Just make sure you protect your car from the weather fist, whatever the weather looks like this winter.
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