A leisurely road-trip to grandma’s house during the summer can turn into a hazardous driving experience when winter weather hits, easily doubling or even tripling the drive-time time. Within minutes, a winter storm can disrupt the best of plans.
Whenever there are unsafe road conditions, it is always wise to stay put and hunker down. However, for those times when you do have to face the cold, here are a few tips to help make dealing with winter a bit easier:
DEICER: Before winter weather hits, put some deicer in your windshield washer fluid tank. A few blasts of this on your windshield will clear away any ice.
WIPERS: Replace your windshield wipers with a heavy-duty winterized version with a protected rubber blade made to hold up under the weight of snow and ice. This will ensure the window is clean and your sightlines are clear.
ANTIFREEZE: Your cars cooling system and gas tank both need protection from freezing temperatures. For your radiator, it’s not enough to just check levels, you also need to be sure the strength and concentration of the antifreeze is correct. For your gas tank, gas does not freeze, but condensation from near-empty tanks or water contamination will most definitely freeze if proper measures are not taken.
LIGHTS: Regularly check your exterior lights to be sure they are free of the grime and slush that gets kicked up by other vehicles on the road. A slight buildup can greatly reduce your visibility of the road ahead of you, and dim your rear lights making you harder to see for vehicles behind you. There are treatments (like Rain-X or car wax) you can apply to your lights to help the sludge flow off more easily.
TIRES: For areas that get a lot of snow, it might be worth looking into snow tires or tire chains. Otherwise, ensure your tires are properly inflated. Due to the fluctuations in temperature during winter months, it is wise to check your tire pressure at least once a week.
MATS: For those who trudge in and out of the snow frequently, slushy mixtures of dirt and salt can get tracked into your vehicle and ground into your floors. Custom molded floor mats are a great investment and an easy-clean option to protect your carpeted floorboards.
CHECKLIST: Click here to download our Emergency Car Kit Check-List to ensure you have essential items packed in your vehicle to keep you safe on the road no matter what kind of weather is on the radar.