If you haven’t yet prepared your vehicle for winter, now’s the time. Wintry conditions are right around the corner, and with them comes an increased risk of accidents due to slippery roads and reduced visibility.
Fortunately, it just takes a bit of driver diligence to make a few simple changes that will keep your car steady and winter-ready. Here are some simple steps to winterize your car:
- Consult Owner’s Manual
Before you can complete any winter-specific vehicle upgrades, you’ll first have to make sure the basics are covered. This means getting an oil change, topping off any fluids, replacing dirty filters, etc. This helps to keep your vehicle safe and efficient during any time of year.
- Consider Snow Tires
Experts agree that snow tires are one of the best investments you can make when it comes to staying safe and steady on slick and slippery roads. Snow tires are a bit of a higher-end investment, with costs averaging about $100 apiece, but their contribution to overall vehicular safety is something you can't put a price on.
If snow tires are a bit out of your budget range, you can still take an extra precaution by making sure your tires are properly inflated all season long - the cold weather often makes tire pressure drop faster.
- Prepare an Emergency Kit
Finally, remember that it’s important to prepare the interior of your vehicle for an emergency as well. You never know when something could go wrong and leave you stranded in the cold. Make sure to prepare an emergency kit that includes the basic essentials:
- First-aid kit
- Jumper cables (try to include a set with a backup battery attached; this will enable you to restart your car by yourself)
- Equipment to change a tire
It’s also a good idea to keep some non-perishable food inside your car as well.
If your vehicle is particularly prone to getting stuck in snowdrifts, consider bringing along a small shovel and sand or cat litter to provide traction.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to stay safe and responsible when driving on slick and slippery roads this season, and keeping these tips in mind will give you a head start.
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