Prepare Your Vehicle Now for Winter Survival

Prepare Your Vehicle Now for Winter Survival

The summer is almost over, and while the fall and winter bring exciting things such as Halloween and Christmas, they also bring a sharp increase in inclement weather.

Whether you live in a place where it snows everyday or it just cools down significantly, there is a good chance that you will see a significant change in the weather patterns during the winter months, and as a result it is important to prepare your car for the winter.

You might think that you have plenty of time to do this, but not only can it be hard to predict when winter weather will start in earnest, but you will also find that it is harder and more expensive to make the necessary survival modifications once that cold weather hits. So here are some ways in which you can prepare your car for the winter now.

1. Stock Up on the Essentials

The very base level of winter automobile preparation is to stock your car with the essential winter survival items. This obviously includes an ice scraper for your windshield, but your life will also be made much easier by keeping some de-icing spray in there. You might also want to include a small (or large if you have enough space) shovel that will help you to dig your way out of the avalanche of snow that tends to build up around your car and prevent you from moving.

2. Get Snow Tires Fitted

Many of the most basic tire treads do not have enough grip for even a little bit of snow. If you live in an area where it snows often, it will definitely be worth your while to get some special snow tires fitted. If you are just making a single trip in the snow, snow chains might do the trick. Another thing to consider in the winter is tire pressure. Make sure that your tires are properly inflated, as that will give you better traction. You can find out your car’s optimal tire pressure either in your owner’s manual or online.

3. Check Your Wipers

Whether you live somewhere in which snowstorms are the norm or you are far more likely to experience constant rain showers, you will need to check your windshield wipers before the winter starts. These should be being changed regularly anyway, but it is especially important to make sure that you have the best wipers for rainy or snowy weather. You can check the correct wiper sizes for your car either in your manual or online. You might be tempted to simply buy the cheapest wipers available, but before you do that, consider that it might be worth paying a little more for a better product.

4. Emergency Survival Kit

As well as storing the basic survival gear in your car, it is also a good idea to keep an emergency survival kit. This will help you in case an emergency such as a storm or a breakdown causes you to have to stay in your car for a long period of time, perhaps overnight. Things that you will want to include are food storage, water, a flashlight, batteries, matches, a blanket, gloves and other warm clothes, a radio, a first aid kit, and a bag of sand in case you get stuck.

5. Get it Serviced

As well as all of this, there are a number of general maintenance things that can make a huge difference when it comes to winter car survival preparedness. A lot of mechanics have special service packages that are designed to get your car ready for the winter, but there are some specific things that you should make sure that you get checked out. This includes checking the engine oil, and considering switching to a thinner oil for the winter. You should also have the battery checked, as cold water has a tendency to reduce the life of a battery and could run you into trouble if your battery is already old. You will also want to check your wiper fluid, coolant, brakes, and lights.

6. Learn Winter Driving

As well as the necessary preparations that you need to make for your car, you also need to prepare yourself for the winter. If you have not driven in winter weather before, educate yourself on the different defensive driving survival techniques that you will need. Some basic tips include planning trips carefully, reducing your speed, reducing acceleration and heavy braking, and being more aware of the road around you. There are also specific things to consider when you have an accident in the winter, such as keeping a flare or bright flag in the car, and how to stay warm without putting yourself in danger.

Lee Flynn

Lee Flynn

Freelance writer who promotes home safety and preparedness through the proper use of food storage and emergency equipment. He is an expert on protection preparedness.
Lee Flynn

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