5 Things To Do Now To Prepare Your Car For Winter

Preparing for the Winter

As someone in a famous TV show once said, “winter is coming.” Yes, it’s a stark reminder that we sooner or later will once again have to grapple with Jack Frost, snowfall, icy roads and other extreme conditions (unless you live in the deep south or California, in which case we say ‘good for you!’) For many Americans, the onset of fall is merely the gateway to winter, and the coming months will bring a whole host of unique dangers that we need to prepare for.
1. The Long Nights and Need for Lights
As the weeks go by, daylight hours get shorter and nights get longer. It will be dark before dinnertime, and driving conditions get treacherous. A lot of people are caught unaware by the rapidly declining afternoon light. If you’ve been on the road for a few hours and are adjusted to the light, you might forget to turn on your headlights. This is not only dangerous for you, but more so for pedestrians and animals in the road that might miss your presence.

2. Car Winter Toolkit – All the Must-Haves
Fall will subside faster than you expect, and so you need to be ready for grandfather winter to steal upon you and your car. While you still don’t need them, get your car’s winter toolkit ready. It should include the following things:
l  A strong ice scraper and snow brush
l  Rock salt (but kitty litter will also do) add traction when you’re stuck in snow
l  First-Aid kit – better to have it and not need it than vice versa
l  A shovel – for when the snow is climbing up all around you and you need to get out
l  Spare winter clothing and blankets
l  A flashlight
l  Jumper cables
l  A rope or chain
l  Spare cell-phone charger
l  Non-perishable food/snacks
l  Sunglasses

3. A Full Maintenance Sweep
Fall may be mild and forgettable, but the winter will bring extremes. In October, take your car in for a full checkup – tires, belts, lights, undercarriage, fluid levels, battery, filters and heating systems. You’ll need all these things in tip-top condition to face the winter months.

4. An Advanced Driving Course
If your family has new drivers, especially teens preparing to drive themselves to school or college for the first time in wintry conditions, then consider setting them up on an advanced driving course to practice how to get control back when skidding, driving in difficult weather and other such useful abilities that experienced drivers take for granted. Don’t let those pesky winter months endanger those you love the most!

5. Plan to Reduce your Driving Needs
A final tip for you. If at all possible, try to make plans to reduce your driving needs during the winter months, either by using public transport, or carpooling with other parents to share the burdens. If we are driving less, then we are reducing any problems we might face.

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