All to easily we get lost in the beautiful colors of fall, that we forget of the pressing dangers of the extreme winter that much of the country can face, especially in the Northeast, Midwest and Northwest. Don’t lose track of time, follow our guide to preparing your car for the worst of winter.
- Prepare a winter emergency kit
You never know when you could get caught in a blizzard, or stuck at the roadside in the freezing cold. If you don’t keep the following things in your car as a matter of course, then do so now.
- First-aid kit
- Flashlight (the winter nights are long and dark)
- Blankets and extra warm clothing
- Non-perishable snacks
- Portable cell-phone chargers
- Shovel good for digging snow
- Ice scraper for windshield
- Switch to winter tires
You may think you’re okay with your all-season tires, but believe us when we say that for those areas where the winter gets extreme, the more extreme-ready tire is needed. All-season tires are okay in temperate zones, but they are not meant for the harsh snowy and icy conditions that other areas face. As winter nears, gets your winter tires on.
- Clear the undercarriage
The winter will gunk up your undercarriage with all kinds of road-borne nonsense. Get it thoroughly washed before the season begins to ensure you start out right. Consider another cleaning or two during the winter, depending how long the winter lasts where you are.
- Check your oil
Most modern synthetic engine oil products are designed to be versatile and work optimally in any season. If you have one of these setups, then you have less to worry about, but if you are using oil of a specific viscosity, then check it’s the right one. Look at the “W” number on the bottle – the lower the number, the better suited it is to winter conditions, with 5W being especially good.
- Consider a full maintenance checkup
If you take your car in for a service once a year, then this time before the winter would be the ideal time. Winter brings with it not only some of the most extreme weather, but certainly the most hazardous driving conditions for individuals and families. Your car needs to be in tip-top condition for this season. Consider making the late fall your annual service time, get your car down the dealership for a full once over and make sure you won’t get caught unawares with any defect or maintenance trouble while winter has us in its icy grip.
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