Ah, the joys of winter! You’re cozy by the fire and have hot cocoa in hand. Or you’re stranded on the side of the highway with a flat tire in a blizzard. Don’t be that traveler who waits until the last minute to get yourself and your transportation ready for the season. Check out these five best methods to prepare your vehicle for winter.
Prepare a Winter Supply Kit
Something as little as a small tote bag or a storage cube stowed in your trunk with supplies can save you in emergencies. Build a kit that resonates with your lifestyle needs, and don’t overthink it. Think about things like snacks, a flashlight, extra layers, warm blankets, and first aid supplies.
Top Off Fluids
A plethora of fluids requires routine maintenance throughout the lifespan of your vehicle. It’s no secret that rough winter roads and temperatures weigh heavily on your car’s ability to get up and go. You want to consider basic needs like brake, wiper, and radiator fluids.
Your motor oil and power steering fluid are two other significant fluids to always monitor and keep on a consistent maintenance schedule. The loss of power steering on snowy roads is dangerous and potentially life-threatening to you and those around you.
Check the Health of Your Battery
Unfortunately, harsh winter temps can wreak havoc on a car’s battery. As the temperatures decrease, so does the viability of a battery’s capacity. Of all the methods to prepare your vehicle for winter, consider this one a top priority. Have a mechanic thoroughly examine your battery and check for any signs of corrosion.
Service Your Brakes
Often, the most common car maintenance repair we put off is the brake system. Before you end up spinning out of control on black ice, consider having your brakes and pads inspected or replaced. Knowing the ideal life term left will help you navigate any pending services if you don’t need a total replacement.
Prepare Your Tires
Maintaining the vitality of tires remains a part of essential safety and maintenance no matter the season. However, as you prepare for the winter months, your tires need a little extra attention. Consider carrying a tire pressure gauge in your safety kit as lower temps fluctuate the pressure levels.
Just before winter sets in is also an excellent time to have tires rotated to even out the wear and tear. Once you’ve rotated them, a good rule of thumb is examining the tread using the penny test. Insert the penny into the tire’s tread upside down, and if you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace the tire.
Delaying the inevitable will not save you in a bind. And though it may seem unnecessary to prepare your car for winter, being safe is better than being sorry. Hopefully, these simple and valuable tips help you get your season started right and keep you safe.