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Prepare Yourself and Your Car for Winter

Updated on November 29, 2014

Tire Wear

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Winter is here, I hate to say it and I hate to admit it. But there’s no escaping it, we have to face it and get ready for it. One way to prepare for winter is to get your car ready. Here are some easy steps to help you.

  1. One of the most important things on your car that must be ready for cold, rainy, snowy and icy weather is your tires. It is important to check the tread on your tires by using a quarter. When you place the quarter in the tread and you can see the top of Washington’s head this means that your tread depth is less than 4/32 inches or less and you need new tires.

  2. Check the tire pressure at least once a month. Take a look in your manufacture’s guide for the recommended amount of tire pressure. If you are expecting ice or snow double check the pressure. Did you know that tires lose about a pound of pressure with every ten degree temperature drop?

  3. Rotate your tires; you should do this on regular intervals of about every five thousand to sever thousand miles. This encourages equal wear and tear on the tires and will maximize the life of your tires.

  4. You should be doing a visual inspection of your tires. Take a look at each of them to see if there’s any unusual wear, scrapes, punctures, gouges, or uneven tread wear. If you see uneven tread wear it may indicate a need to rotate the tires or for an alignment.

  5. Check your antifreeze or have someone do it for you. You will want to make sure that you have the correct antifreeze for your area.

  6. Check your windshield wiper blades, there’s nothing worse than being in bad weather and having bad wiper blades.

  7. Check your windshield washer fluid; this is as bad or worse than having bad wiper blades.

  8. Make sure that all of your lights are in working order. People will need to see you in the bad weather.

  9. Oil should be checked and changed on a regular basis; this is not something that should just be done in winter.

  10. Do a visual inspection of your entire car, make sure that nothing is hanging from underneath and check for any fluids that may be leaving a puddle under your car.

When preparing for winter weather it is not only a good idea to make sure that your car is in working order, but make sure that you have what you need inside the car in case you are stranded or in an accident.

  1. Blankets, these will come in handy if you are struck in bad weather, traffic or in an accident while on the road.

  2. Some type of food, I carry granola bars in my car in case of the above incident.

  3. Make sure your cell phone is charged, or carry an extra charged battery.

  4. I have a flashlight in my car as well. You never know when it may come in handy.

  5. When taking a trip in bad weather, make sure that you fill your gas tank.

Above all never drive in bad weather unless you MUST. When you do you put yourself and others in danger. Four wheel drive is not a magic bullet for bad weather either, keep in mind that four wheel drive will land you in a ditch just as fast as or faster than no four wheel drive.

Tires

Check Tire Tread

Winter Weather

Always remember to clear your car of debris. In some states, maybe all, it is illegal to drive with piles of snow and ice on your car. Not only can it impair you vision, but it can fall off going down the road and cause an accident for other motorists.

It is important to remember that we share the road and everyone out there is someone's relative. Be kind, be considerate, and patient. Getting to your destination alive is the goal.

With aggressive driving becoming more and more the norm we need to take care. Aggressive driving is bad at anytime, but it can be lethal too. Aggressive driving in bad or inclement weather is a recipe for disaster for everyone on the road.

Always ask yourself, is it worth it? Who will be affected by my death or injury?

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