Preparing Your Vehicle for Cold Weather:  5 Tips

winterCar FB

The weather is progressively getting colder which means it’s time to get your car ready for winter.  Your car is likely one of your largest investments other than your home.  Prepare for cold weather and prolong the life of your investment.  Even more important than the vehicle is the safety of you and your family.  Prepare to avoid break downs.  Our winter weather in Northeast Ohio is infamous for its cold temperatures and heavy snowfall.  It is important to be prepared just in case you get stuck outside in your car.  Here’s 5 tips you need to know to help you prepare.

  1. Make an emergency kit to keep in your car. This emergency kit should include items that will help you in the event you become stuck and can’t get out for a while.  Include items like blankets, spare gloves, snacks, and maybe a small radio.  If you have your cell phone with you all of the time, maybe a portable charger as well.  Remember when making your emergency kit:  “better to have and not need!”
  1. Check the coolant in your vehicle before it gets cold. Now you ask:  “why would I need coolant in the winter?”  Your vehicle’s heating system actually depends upon the coolant heating up.  This heated coolant circulates through your heater and heat is drawn off of it and blown into the vehicle.  Obviously, heat is pretty important when the temperature drops.  Besides, cars over-heating in the winter is neither unheard of nor uncommon.  Checking that the coolant level is within the appropriate range will help you to avoid break downs.
  1. Make sure the windshield wipers are in good shape. Everybody knows how infuriating it is to try to see through a windshield with huge streaks in it.  Change the wipers now to avoid future frustrations.  Seeing in a snowstorm is hard enough without looking through a streaky windshield.
  1. Here’s an interesting fact. Tires can lose up to 1 or 2 P.S.I. for every 10 degrees of temperature lost after filling them.  Check your tire pressure frequently during the winter to avoid low tires that will cause handling issues on the road.
  1. Change the oil! Changing the oil according to manufacturer’s specifications is always important, but especially in the winter.  Get it changed before the winter so the vehicle runs more smoothly and efficiently.  Don’t let a low oil level leave you stranded on the side of the road.

Preparing for break downs in your car is important.  Perhaps even more important than preparing for them is avoiding them altogether. Make sure you are getting your car serviced regularly.