Oh, man! It’s getting cold outside. While ideally we would all like to stay inside next to a warm fire, cuddled in a soft, fluffy blanket and binge watch the newest installment on Netflix, but that’s not reality. Work, school, groceries and medical appointments all carry on even when an arctic front overtakes the area.
Of course before we even think about stepping outside, we grab our boots, coats, scarves and gloves so we’re properly covered and protected against the frigid air. Then we hop into the car and blast the heat and defrost.
But here’s something to think about…is your car winterized? Have you taken the proper precautions to ensure your warmth and safety while driving in winter temperatures?
Here’s a quick checklist to keep handy to help you winterize your car and stay safe during the winter months.
- Windshield Wipers - Wipers are made out of rubber that can crack and split over time, especially in extreme temperatures. Wipers should really be changed every 6 - 12 months. Check your wipers for damage and replace if necessary. Also make sure you are using an antifreeze washer solution to help keep your windshield clear in winter months.
- Antifreeze - Your coolant should be an equal mixture of 50% water and 50% antifreeze. This ratio prevents fluids from freezing even in ridiculously cold temperatures.
- Battery - Cold temperatures are hard on your battery. Car batteries typically last 3 - 5 years, so if your battery is more than 3 years old, have a repair shop test the charge.
- Tires - Wet and icy road conditions are dangerous enough, but with deflated tires, you’ll lose important traction. Air pressure drops as weather gets colder, so it’s important to check your tires and keep them fully aired.
- Gas - Make sure you keep your gas tank full in winter months. During cold weather, condensation can form in the empty space above the gas. That condensation can drip down into your gas and possibly freeze.
- Emergency Kit - Keep a plastic tub in the trunk with a few things you may need in the event of a breakdown: flashlights, blankets, extra gloves, kitty litter, first aid kit, small shovel, ice scraper, flares. It probably wouldn’t hurt to keep a few snacks in the tub as well…just in case.
It’s always best to prepare for the worst, but expect the best.