The winter season and chilly temperatures that come with it have been known to do a number on vehicles. While vehicle safety has come miles since the first car made its debut in the 1880’s, it is not uncommon for drivers to be dealing with a dead battery or worn-out windshield wipers during the harsh winter temperatures and conditions, which can easily lead to dangerous situations. Below are safety tips to help you prepare your vehicle for the cold temperatures as well as emergency kit must-haves to keep on hand.
- Tune up. Before cold temps hit, make sure your car is performing at optimal condition by taking it to your local auto shop for your regularly scheduled maintenance, oil change and tune ups. Ask your mechanic to do at least a 10-point inspection, which will require them to look at and make sure the tires, belts, brakes, and other key parts of your car are working properly.
- Checkups. Along with having a mechanic look over your vehicle, it is important to do your own maintenance and checkups at home. Frequently check your coolant, as it expands when it freezes. Test your windshield wipers and replace worn blades if necessary. Your tires are another key item to check to ensure your safety on the road. Tires should be filled to the vehicle manufacturer’s suggested PSI (pounds per square inch) of air pressure. This information can usually be found in the owner’s manual or on a label inside the driver’s door. Experts recommend the tread of each tire should be at least 1/16 of an inch or greater.
- Charge up. Dead or dying vehicle batteries tend to be the two main issues that drivers face during the winter months. You can use a battery charger and maintainer to read the power level of your battery as well as trickle charge it to keep the battery from dying. Look for a charger and maintainer that is specifically made for cold weather.
- Stock up. Emergency car kits are important to keep in your vehicle year-round, but they can become critical in the winter months. Blankets, shelf stable food like granola bars, flashlights, first aid kit and handwarmers are some of the recommended products to store in your vehicle. It is also critical to keep a high-quality, portable jump starter on hand in case you are facing the dreaded dead battery. Look for one that comes loaded with additional features to help cut down on the items you need to have in your car. Shell Jump Starters have built-in flashlights, SOS lights as well as USB ports and wireless charging spots to quickly recharge phones and other devices in emergency situations.