Winterize Your Car for Safety

Winter weather can be your car’s worst enemy.  The obvious wet and slippery conditions produced by rain, sleet and snow make the roadways more treacherous…especially at night.  But colder temperatures also make it challenging for your vehicle’s engine to run normally.  Potholes take their toll on tires, wheels and suspension systems.  Salt and gravel grind away at your car’s body and paint.  Two particular aspects of your vehicle that are especially vulnerable to Winter are its battery and antifreeze.  If your battery is anywhere between middle aged and senior citizen status, its worth ten extra minutes at your local gas station or oil change center to have it checked out.  The reason for checking your antifreeze is a bit more obvious. Engines don’t like frozen radiator fluid…and the slushy results can be highly damaging and costly.

As always, there are preventive measures you can take to help your vehicle combat Winter stress.  In addition to battery and antifreeze, here are a few more important points to look at when giving your car a Winter checkup:

  1. Tires & Tire Pressure – if you live in a moderate to heavy snow geography…Winter tires aren’t magical, but their added traction offers safety that can’t be ignored
  2. Belts, Hoses, Wipers & Fluid – they lead longer lives in newer cars, but belts & hoses aren’t immortal. Also, mix de-icer into your fluid reservoir.
  3. Emergency Car Kit – if you’re a DIYer, contents should include the obvious like a first-aid kit, flashlight & flares.  But many convenient pre-made kits can be easily purchased too.

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