As the first day of winter arrived a few days ago, much of the country had already seen snow. Not just a dusting, but a ton of snow. So if we’re in for another year of blizzards and ice storms, we may as well be prepared to deal with it, right? We’re compiling a list of winter car care and driving tips, and here is what we’ve put together thus far. Please share your tips with us on Twitter.
Winterize your ride
Winter is really tough on your car, so it’s important to do everything you can to get your car ready. On your next regular oil change have the mechanics check your battery, tires and fluids. If your battery is several years old it may be on its last legs, and one long night in single digit weather could finish it off, or maybe even half an hour if you leave your headlights on.
If your tires’ tread is wearing thin it’s time to purchase new ones that can handle the winter in your area. It’s hard enough driving on snow and ice, but driving with bald tires is just foolish. If your tread is fine, be sure to check the air pressure as the cold weather can cause it to drop. For more on tire pressure, see our post from last season.
One of the easiest things to do is purchase window washer fluid with a de-icer. When the temperature is low enough, using regular washer fluid on that dirty windshield will make it as transparent as a frosted beer mug. So be safe, be smart, spend the $5 on de-icer washer fluid.
Even if you follow these simple tips, there will be times when you have car problems. With that in mind, be prepared for those times, too. Keep jumper cables in your car, and learn how to use them if you don’t know already. It’s a good idea to have roadside assistance service, such as AAA, which will also get you some sweet discounts on your holiday travels.
Don’t let cold weather give you a brain freeze when it comes to driving safe. It seems like every time it snows we see someone barreling down the interstate with half of their windshield scraped off and the rest of the car covered with 4 inches of snow. Invest in a good scraper and a can of spray de-icer and spend a couple of extra minutes running your defroster in the car before heading out.
Most importantly, if the weather outside is frightful, there’s no place to go that’s worth battling the snow. Light a fire, pour a glass of wine and enjoy the finer parts of winter.