Winter is fast approaching! Prepare your vehicle

Thursday, October 18, 2012

It’s the middle of October, which means it’s not long until the snow and ice show up on our roadways. The winter elements take a different toll on our vehicle, and preparing your vehicle now will help keep you safe when winter makes its fast-approaching appearance.

1. Take your car to a mechanic and check out the following:

  • battery
  • antifreeze level
  • thermostat
  • heater
  • brakes
  • defroster

2. Install good winter tires

3. Purchase winter wiper blades to cut through snow and ice instead of using regular ones throughout the year.

4. Check the spray nozzles of your windshield-washer system:

  • Sometimes, they get blocked by wax or debris. Use a needle or pin to clear blocked nozzles.
  • Watch out for freezing windshield wiper fluid.
  • Make sure to purchase windshield wiper fluid that’s rated for cold temperatures.

5. Visually inspect your vehicle’s lights:

  • You’ll want to check all of your lights, including headlights, running lights, turn signals, brake lights, reverse lights and, perhaps most importantly in the winter, your emergency flashers.

6. Keep a windshield scraper and small broom for ice and snow removal.

7. Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season.

8. Plan long trips carefully:

  • Listen to the radio or check the internet for the latest road conditions.
  • Always travel during daylight and, if possible, take at least one other person.
  • Let someone know your timetable and primary and alternate routes.

9. Maintain your Cell Phone:

  • Have your cell phone with you.
  • Keep your cell phone contacts up to date.
  • Make sure you have emergency numbers in your cell phone.
  • Keep your cell phone charged.
  • Keep a cell phone charger in the car. Test the charger regularly.

10. If you must go out during a winter storm, use public transportation.

11. Dress warmly. Wear layers of loose-fitting, layered, lightweight clothing.

12. Prepare a Winter Car Kit by keeping these items in your car:

  • Flashlights with extra batteries
  • First aid kit with pocket knife
  • Necessary medications
  • Several blankets
  • Sleeping bags
  • Oversized Full Length Down Parka
  • Extra newspapers for insulation
  • Plastic bags
  • Matches
  • Extra set of mittens, socks, and a wool cap
  • Rain gear and extra clothes
  • Small sack of sand for generating traction under wheels
  • Small shovel
  • Small tools (pliers, wrench, screwdriver)
  • Booster cables
  • Set of tire chains or traction mats
  • Cards, games, and puzzles
  • Brightly coloured cloth to use as a flag
  • Canned fruit and nuts
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Bottled water
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