Winter Driving Tips

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9 Quick Tips to Prepare Your Vehicle This Winter:

Winter is coming! That means holiday fun, time with family, beautiful decorations, and unfortunately- terrible driving conditions. We've compiled a small list of tips that can have a huge impact on keeping your vehicle pristine and you safe!

1. TIRES AND TREAD

We've all had the moment of panic where our tires lose traction and the vehicle begins to slideout of our control. With winter weather approaching, it is crucial that your tires are suitable andsafe for icy or wet roads. If you can't purchase snow tires for your car, it's important that you atleast regularly check your air pressure for each tire (your vehicle's car manual will show therecommended amount). Deflated tires close up your tread, which consequently decreases yourtraction on the roads and makes you vulnerable to sliding.

2. BATTERY

The expected life span of a car battery is 3-5 years, and you don't want to learn that yours needs replaced while stranded in a snow storm. Your vehicle's engine is forced to work much harder in the winter weather, and this can quickly exhaust your battery. It's always a good idea to have your battery checked before winter hits, even if it's only a couple years old.

3. COOLANT

Having the appropriate coolant (antifreeze) level is imperative in keeping your engine from freezing as the temperatures drop. You should be sure there aren't any leaks in your engine, that levels are filled to the maximum line, and that you have the proper antifreeze-to-water ratio according to your mechanic or your owner's manual.

4. OIL

If you are overdue or coming close to needing your vehicle's oil changed- do it before bad weather hits! Ask your mechanic or consult your owner's manual about switching to a thinner oil for when temperatures dip below freezing. Oil typically thickens as temperatures drop, and it's important that your oil still does its job of lubricating your engine and getting you safely from Point A to Point B.

5. WASHER FLUID

If you can't see, you can't drive. While prepping yourself for winter, refill your vehicle with freezeresistant wiper fluid to help you break up packed snow and ice on your windshield.

6. GASOLINE

Through the winter months, you should try your best to keep your gas tank as close to full as much as you can. A fuller tank can help prevent internal freezing issues, help you stay warm if you get stuck on the side of the road, and the added weight may even help with sliding on ice.

7. WINDSHEILD WIPER BLADES

Often enough, it becomes difficult to see on the roads during the winter, and low visibility in drivers is obviously very dangerous. Make sure your windshield wiper blades are in good condition, as the rubber can quickly corrode and break apart.

8. EMERGENCY KIT

In the unfortunate event that you find yourself in trouble while traveling, it is vital that you keep an accessible emergency kit in your vehicle at all times. Items to keep in your pack should include: gloves, hat, blanket, flashlight, boots, small shovel, ice scraper, car-compatible cell phone charger, first-aid kit, jumper cables, and a spare tire with it's required tools.

9. SALT OR SAND

Throughout the winter, many people keep large bags of salt or sand in their cars. If you find yourself stuck and unable to catch traction, sprinkling salt or sand directly in front of your tires may help pull you out of the snow or ice and get you on your way.