Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Top Tips for Keeping Your Car Safe Through the Winter

Here in the southwest, the winter season can be harsh. Cold winds, dry air, and icy roads can make for a tough drive. Although we may not get inches upon inches of snow like the Midwest and northern parts of the country, there are still precautions that need to be taken when driving in winter conditions.

First, it is always a good idea to address any issues with engine performance as soon as your “check engine” light comes on. If you have been putting it off all summer, now is the time to take your vehicle in for a tune up. After all, the cold weather can make existing problems with your vehicle worse. Also, check your tire pressure. Fluctuations in tire pressure occur with changing temperatures. Be aware that your vehicle’s tire pressure may lower as temperatures drop.

Secondly, it is very important to make sure your windshield wiper blades are in good functioning condition. Snowflakes and icy rain can stick to your windshield making it difficult to see what is going on outside on the roads. Although windshield wipers should be replaced on a regular basis throughout the year, making sure you have fresh new wipers for wintery weather conditions is a must.

Thirdly, you must make sure your heater and defroster are in working condition. Driving with foggy windows is hazardous and driving in the cold is uncomfortable. Without a working defroster, you could be facing visibility issues when driving. Also, if you park your car outside overnight, you could wake up to a snow covered back window. Don’t forget to carry an ice scraper in case you need to give the defroster a head start!

Lastly, it is always a good idea to have a winter emergency kit in your car. Pack a blanket, gloves, boots, a small shovel, sand or kitty litter, tire chains, a flashlight, and extra batteries in the trunk of your car in case you need to get out of a rut.

By keeping your car’s engine healthy and taking it for regular maintenance, oil changes, and tune-ups as needed, you will prevent any accidents or catastrophes from happening during your winter drives.

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