Winter is just around the corner, meaning it’s time to prepare your vehicle for icy streets, snow drifts, and salt-covered roads. A lot of car accidents occur during the winter, thanks to the reduced tire friction caused by ice, snow, and melting water. People also get stranded in their vehicles due to frozen water in the radiator.
If you want to be prepared for the winter, here are a few smart things you can do:
- Keep your tank topped off – As autumn goes by, start building the habit to refill your gas tank before it passes the half-way mark. By the time winter arrives, you’ll be accustomed to keeping the tank full. This will prevent condensation from forming in the gas tank. That condensation can reduce engine efficiency, making your car run poorly.
- Fill up on antifreeze – Make sure your antifreeze levels are all the way to the top. Antifreeze will save your vehicle in winter, as it will stop the water in your radiator from freezing (hence the name). If the radiator fluid doesn’t flow properly, your engine can overheat. If it locks up, the repairs will cost you thousands of dollars. You’re better of spending a few bucks on antifreeze!
- Give your brakes a once-over – Give your brakes a thorough inspection to make sure they’re in tip top shape. Now is the time to replace those brake shoes and pads! The roads are going to be slippery, so you need your brakes to be in perfect working order if you’re going to get through the winter without an accident.
- Switch to winter windshield wiper fluid – Did you know that there are different windshield wiper fluids for summer and winter? The winter fluid is far less likely to freeze on your windshield, thanks to its higher alcohol content. Better make the switch before temperatures drop too low.
- Get your tires ready for Winter – Now is the time to rotate your tires and check your alignment. This will ensure that your tires have maximum grip on the road, reducing your risk of spinning out or slipping on icy or wet roads.
- Load up – It may sound silly to carry supplies (blankets, bottled water, some food, extra clothing, phone batteries, etc.) in your car, but it can save your life! Many people have gotten caught in snow banks and have died because they couldn’t stay warm, eat, or drink water long enough to be rescued. Always have supplies in your car, and make sure they’re accessible from the inside.
Follow this advice, and you’ll be ready for anything winter can throw at you and your car!