More bad things can happen to your car during winter than any other season. Car batteries often die in freezing temperatures. Fluids freeze if antifreeze is not present. Tires skid on ice, increasing the risks of side or head-on collisions. Fortunately, all of these problems are preventable with some foresight and careful driving. Learn these 5 ways to keep the car maintained for a safe winter.
1. Go Out Infrequently
Stay indoors as much as possible and only drive when it’s necessary. Waiting until the road has been plowed or the storm has settled is generally good advice. Ice is slippery yet difficult or impossible to see on the road at all times. If you can, keep your car in the garage instead of parked in the driveway where its parts could freeze. Check the weather ahead of any trips and plan ahead.
2. Slow Down When Necessary
Drive slowly wherever you can because the snow makes it harder to see the road signs. Turn the headlights on during a heavy snowfall. Be careful when driving in a whiteout when too much snow makes the sky and road invisible. Give yourself more room to stop and give other cars more space to maneuver. Swiftly breaking can just cause your car to skid, rather than coming to a quick stop.
3. Keep Emergency Supplies in the Backseat
If it’s snowing heavily and you’re concerned about the car breaking down, store an emergency supply bag in the trunk or backseat. Keep tools to revive the car if it shuts down, like a jump starter kit. If the car is stranded in a remote area that is covered with snow, have supplies to keep the kids warm and protected, such as blankets, non-perishable foods, and flashlights.
4. Maintain the Car Before Winter Comes
Visit the mechanic for a pre-winter maintenance checkup. First, check the battery as it could go dead in the cold weather. If you expect heavy snow, rotate the tires or replace them with a new set of snow tires with deeper tread. You could also find yourself some tire chains.
Check for cracks in the windshield that could freeze and expand. The wider the glass expands, the harder it is to see out of the glass, which increases the danger of driving. If the crack cannot be repaired, you’ll need a windshield replacement. You could also check your car ahead to time, to see if your windshield might need some minor repairs.
5. Keep the Windows Clear
Keep the windows clear of snow and ice when driving. Have the car in the garage to prevent a buildup of winter debris. Always make sure you have a snow scraper in the trunk. Before it starts snowing, test the windshield wiper blades before you expect to use them.
Winter arrives every year, and every year, drivers make the same mistakes when taking trips out with their kids. They take unnecessary risks that put them and their loved ones on many pathways to danger. Winter can be the safest season to drive if you follow the right tips to keep the car maintained for a safe winter.
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