November 2, 2017
3 Steps to Prepare Your Car for Winter. Before the first big storm of the season hits, make sure your car is ready for cold, wet and snowy weather! To make sure you are prepared and ready to hit the road when the mercury drops, follow our 3 easy steps:
1. Purchase jumper cables or a portable car jumper, if you don’t already have them. If you are going with traditional jumper cables, you will want to get ones that are a minimum of 16 feet long, in case you need to jump start your car in an awkward configuration.
Next, be sure to watch our video “Easy Guide to Using Jumper Cables” on your cell phone, so that if by chance you ever need a jump start you will not only have jumper cables at the ready, but you will also have the instructions on hand and be able to use them!
A nice, albeit more expensive alternative to traditional jumper cables is the portable car jumper. There are several companies that make this handy little jump starter, which fits in the glove compartment of your car, and is incredibly easy to use, even for a novice. It can be used to charge your cell phone in an emergency, as well as to start up your car in a jiffy, with no other car needed!
2. Make sure your car is “dressed” for cold weather. Just as you change out your summer wardrobe for your winter wardrobe, and you make sure your family is prepared for the season with winter coats, hats and gloves, you should also make sure your car is dressed for winter.
Do a walk-around of your car, following our easy checklist:
- Make sure tires have adequate tread. If they are worn out, it might be time to replace them. You need tires with enough tread to navigate safely through wet and icy road conditions. Another option, if you live in an area where snow is a regular occurrence, is to put on snow tires for the cold season.
- Make sure all lights are operational. Replace worn out bulbs if needed.
- Check fluid levels, and re-fill if needed
- Make sure windshield wipers are in good condition, and replace them if needed
3. Make sure you have emergency supplies on hand. Now is an excellent time to refresh your car first aid kit if you already have one, and if not, be sure to get one. Other items that you should keep on hand include: a thermal blanket, flashlight, ice scraper, small shovel, extra gloves, bottled water, and some non-perishable snacks, such as granola bars or trail mix.
Another safety measure that we strongly recommend is to add a small “tool” kit to your glove compartment, which will be in easy reach, in the event that you don’t want to or cannot access the trunk of your car. Some basics to include in your glove box tool kit might be: electrical tape, a small multi-tool, and a small notepad with pencil or pen. Or, if your glove box is too small or too full, consider adding a small multi-tool to your keychain, so you always have it with you!
Wasn’t that easy? Now your car is ready for the cold season!
by See Jane Drill, Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved