Wintertime brings its own unique driving environment with drivers having to deal with snow, ice, cold temperatures, and early evenings. This can increase the chances of you having an accident or car trouble. There are a number of ways to prepare your car for winter, and you should get ready early so you can be ready for a sudden storm. Here are five simple things you can do in order to be ready for winter.
1. Prepare An Emergency Car Kit
You should always have an emergency kit in your car, and there are a number of things you should have in your car in preparation for winter. An emergency kit should allow you to free your car from snow, deal with medical emergencies, and keep you safe and warm.
Your emergency kit should have some things that will keep you warm if you are stranded in cold conditions. It should contain such things as:
- A Complete Change Of Clothes
- Extra Socks And Gloves
- Water-Resistant Boots
- A Warm Blanket
Optionally, you can include a tarpaulin. You can use the tarp as shelter if you are forced to abandon the vehicle, and you can build a shelter next to your car while you repair your vehicle. It also can lay it down for a dry work surface.
Your emergency kit should contain items that will allow you to free your car if it is stuck in snow or mud. It should also contain some things for basic roadside repairs. This includes such things as:
- Small Shovel
- Ice Scraper
- Flares And Roadside Signaling Equipment
- Jumper Cables
- Tire Gauge
- Tire Chains
- Inflated Spare Tire
- Tire Changing Tools
- Tool Kit
- Windshield Wipers
- Windshield Wiper Fluid
You should also include an abrasive substance that you can spread in order to give your tires a grip. A bag of sand is a good option. You can also use non-clumping kitty litter. Kitty litter is commonly sold in large plastic tubs that make pouring it easy.
Finally, there are a few miscellaneous items you should keep in your vehicle this includes:
- Medical Kit
- Food And Water
- Hard Candies
- Paper Towels
- Trash Bags
You should keep your tank full of gas in the winter. This will help you avoid running out of gas in the event of an emergency. This will also help to prevent your gas lines from freezing as the result of condensation building up in your gas tank.
Your emergency preparedness kit should be customized to your lifestyle. You may want to keep such things as an extra set of glasses or medications in your car. You may also want to consider having items for pets, and you should have warm blankets for any children that will be driving with you.
2. Purchase A Set Of The Best Winter Tires
Winter tires are a must in Canada. There are a couple of features that make snow tires different than all-season tires. These features include:
- Softer Rubber
- More Aggressive Tread
- Tread That Funnels Slush Away
These three features will help your car grip to the road in icy conditions. It will also help to stop your car from going sideways. You should use snow tires whenever the temperature is below seven degrees Celsius.
Almost every insurance provider will give you a discount for using snow tires. This discount will usually cover the cost of the tires. In addition, the benefit of avoiding an accident make snow tires well worth the money.
3. Consider An Oil change
You should get your oil changed before winter. This is because old oil gets thicker the more it is used, and cold temperatures also makes oil thicker. This means that your oil has extra trouble lubricating the engine during the winter months. An oil change will allow your engine to better lubricate itself, and it will allow your car to warm up quickly as the oil moves through the engine.
You may want to consider using an oil heater if your car has trouble starting on cold mornings. An oil heater is a small magnetic device that attaches to the oil pan on the bottom of your car. This will keep the oil warm overnight.
When changing your oil, you should also consider doing a few other things to get your car ready for winter. It is a good idea to consider checking on your car’s batter. This is because colder temperatures will drain your car’s batter, and it is common to put extra strain on it due to using such things as the heater when the car is off. Make sure that the water levels in a battery are easy, and you should be able to perform this simple step inside of a few minutes.
4. Tire Pressure
Tire pressure can have a huge impact on your car with it greatly affecting gas mileage, performance, and handling. This means that you should regularly check your car’s tire pressure. Tire pressure will drop by one pound per square inch for every ten degrees Fahrenheit the temperature drops. This can make it easy for you to have under-inflated tires in the winter months.
Many modern cars have tire pressure sensors to check if your car’s tires are properly inflated. However, many modern cars will inform you of this through the check engine light. A good way to find out why your car’s check engine light is on is by simply checking the tire pressure.
Here’s a quick guide on the Top 5 Winter Tyre Brands.
5. Check Your Wiper Blades
You should check your car’s wiper blades when getting your car winter-ready. It is easy to not use your windshield wipers in the summer months, and wiper blades have an easy time moving water from light rainfall. However, the winter months are going to require your wipers to remove heavy snow, slush, and dirty water from snowmelt. You should check to make sure that your wiper blades are working properly, and that your car’s windshield washer fluid is full. This will allow you to make sure that you can see when driving.
You should do a couple of things to make sure you can always see while driving in the winter months. You should check to make sure that your car’s defroster is working, that it is not obstructed by items on your dashboard, and that you know how to set your car’s temperature controls so it does not fog up. You should also keep a brush and ice scraper in your car. This will allow you to clear your windows with ease. It is easy to forget to put these items in your car until you need them, so you should take steps to have an ice scraper before the first frost.
Save Money On Auto Insurance By Having Your Car Winter Ready
Getting your car ready for winter is a good way to save money on your auto insurance. You can get a discount for doing such things as having snow tires, and doing such things as changing your oil will allow you to avoid having to file a claim for a major repair. In addition, preparing your car for winter will help you avoid getting in an accident or a ticket. This will further help you to avoid having higher auto insurance rates.
The process of getting your car winter-ready is fairly easy, and it involves things that you should regularly be doing with your car. The few steps it takes to get winter ready are cheap, and they are well worth the investment when you consider the burden of being involved in an accident due to winter conditions.