While you may enjoy the benefits of snowy weather, including snowboarding, skiing, and sledding, these are less-than-optimal conditions for driving your car. Icy roads, snow-covered highways, and below-freezing temperatures can be detrimental to your car if you don’t take adequate steps to prepare it.
At Paskett Auto, our team wants you to prepare your car for winter ahead of time so you can avoid any unexpected breakdowns. If you want to prepare your car for winter, continue reading to see what steps we recommend.
Why Is It Important To Prepare Your Car For Winter?
During the winter months, many unpredictable factors make it an incredibly unsafe time to drive. When so many factors are unpredictable, it is important that everything within your control is predictable, including your car. These steps you take to prepare your car for winter don’t just keep you safe but also other drivers on the road. If you are looking to stay safe on the road during the winter months, it is important that you take several steps to ensure this.
Winterizing Your Car
If you want to prepare your car for winter, there are several steps you should take before the weather picks up. If you want to winterize your vehicle, you should consider following this checklist:
- Check Your Tires: The roads during the snowy winter months are slick and, with inadequately prepared tires, can be difficult to drive on. If you want to prepare your car for winter, inspect your treads. Do the penny test to ensure your treads are thick enough. You may struggle to find traction on the road if they aren’t. In addition to checking the tread, you should ensure your tires are adequately inflated. If they are regularly leaking or the treads are bare, you might need new tires.
- Schedule An Oil Change: The colder weather thickens your oil, making it more difficult to lubricate your engine adequately. Scheduling an oil change ahead of the winter months ensures that your engine is protected against the winter weather and prevents premature wear and breakdown of critical components.
- Inspect Your Battery: Your car’s battery has a lifespan of three to four years. If it has been a while since you replaced your car’s battery, you might want to consider taking it to an automotive repair shop. They can determine if the battery is weak and needs a replacement.
Preparing To Drive In Winter Weather
Preparing to drive may be intimidating if you have recently moved to a place that receives snowfall and you’ve never driven in snow before. However, there are several steps you can take to ensure your safety while driving in winter weather.
- Give Yourself Extra Time: Driving in the snow may take longer than anticipated. To drive safely in the snow, give yourself extra time so you don’t have to rush in this inclement weather.
- Drive Under The Speed Limit: As stated above, driving in snow may take longer than anticipated. Driving under the speed limit is best so you don’t risk sliding across slick road surfaces.
- Remove Snow And Ice From Your Car: Blocked vision makes driving in the winter incredibly difficult. To prepare your car for winter driving, ensure your windshield and windows are cleared of ice and snow.
- Don’t Accelerate Or Slow Down Quickly: Accelerating or slowing down too quickly can lead to your car slipping across icy surfaces. When you are driving, ensure you accelerate and slow down slowly.
- Wear Your Seatbelt: You can control your driving, but winter weather is unpredictable. Wearing your seatbelt is the best way to stay safe while driving in the winter.
What To Do If You Get Stranded
Being stranded during a winter storm is intimidating, especially if you aren’t prepared for it. There are several things you should do if you get stranded, including the following:
- Call For Help: If you get stranded during a winter storm, the first thing you should do is call for help. Calling for help ensures that someone knows where you are if your cell phone dies.
- Make Yourself Visible: When you are stranded on the side of the road, you want to do everything in your power to make yourself visible. By making yourself visible, you protect your vehicle from collisions with other vehicles that may drive past. It may also help people find you if your vehicle is partially covered in snow.
- Determine If You Can Leave: While it is often safest to stay in your vehicle, you should determine if you can safely leave your vehicle and make it to a safe shelter. However, it is safest to stay in your vehicle when in doubt.
- Avoid Exposure To Carbon Monoxide: If your car’s exhaust is blocked by snow and you continue to run your vehicle, you risk exposure to carbon monoxide. Clear the tailpipe if possible to avoid this.
What To Keep In Your Car’s Emergency Kit
One of the best ways to prepare your car for winter is by ensuring you have an adequately packed emergency kit. There are many important items to keep in your car’s emergency kit, including the following:
- First aid kit
- Flashlights and batteries
- Raincoats, gloves, and tarps
- Drinking water and snacks
- Jumper cables
- Flares and reflectors
Prepare Your Car For Winter With Paskett Auto
Preparing your car for winter is essential for your safety and adequate car maintenance. If you are looking for an auto repair shop to prepare your car for winter, our team at Paskett Auto is the perfect team for you. With years of experience, we can quickly make any necessary repairs and ensure your car is ready for the colder months. In addition to services to prepare your car for winter, we provide emissions tests, air conditioning repairs, and more. If you want to prepare your car for winter or would like to speak to a member of our team about the other services we provide, contact us today.