Winter can mean very different things depending on which region of the United States you live in. Texas has gotten winter storms with temperatures in the low 20s. It is recommended that you winterize your car before the winter season but any time is a good time. Here are a few tips on how to care for your vehicle during winter months.
- Inspect your tires
When temperatures fluctuate, your tires are inclined to pressure changes so it is best to check them periodically. Do not forget to check your tread depth to be at least 1/8 inch, if not consider purchasing new tires.
- Check your battery
Cold temperatures can put stress on your vehicle’s battery, so make sure it is working probably by having it checked with your mechanic. You can carry jumper cables and a battery charge in your vehicle in case of an emergency.
- Keep washer fluid full
When driving on snow or ice, you may use washer fluid to keep your windshield clean and consider keeping an extra bottle or two in the trunk.
- Be prepared with a safety kit
Living in the northern part of the state you may deal with colder days so it is a good idea to have an emergency kit. The kit can include items such as tire sealant, flashlight, duct tape, poncho or coat, windshield scraper and reflective triangles. You can also have a first aid kit, non-perishable foods and water.
- Keep the tank at least half full
Keeping your gas tank at least half full is important during winter because it’ll prevent your gas line from freezing and if it stalls your engine may be what keeps you warm until help arrives.
- Service your vehicle regularly
Make sure to take your vehicle to an auto shop and get it serviced. Have a mechanic check vehicle’s belts, hoses, spark plugs, wires and cables. The technician can check your charging system and cooling system as well.
Before You Drive
Before you get on the road, it is important for you to remove snow or ice from windshields, windows, tops and sides or you vehicle. Yes it is a lot of work but doing so will improve your visibility and prevents chunks or material from falling off and hitting other vehicles. And always remember these tips when driving in winter months:
- allow enough time to get to your destination safely
- please drive slow once on the road
- give yourself enough distance between your vehicle and that in front of you as driving in ice makes it more difficult to stop
- watch or listen on the radio for any changes in the weather
- if the roads are too dangerous, do not risk driving and getting involved in an accident.