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As the weather gets colder and winter sets in, it’s important to make sure your car is ready for the change. No one wants to be stranded on the side of the road in a snowstorm, so following these tips from auto experts will help ensure you’re prepared for whatever winter throws your way.
Get a winter car checkup
Winter can be a tough time for cars, but regular maintenance is the key to staying safe on the roads. Get your car ready and road trip with confidence this season by taking it in for a winter checkup.
Your mechanic will check under the hood to make sure your battery is strong enough to start in colder temperatures, that you have enough antifreeze to protect your engine, and don’t forget about those windshield wipers!
When visibility is impaired due to precipitation, having properly functioning wiper blades will help you navigate slippery roads right up until spring blooms once again.
Keep an emergency kit in your car
There’s nothing worse than when you find yourself unprepared for an emergency – especially on the road. Whether it’s lousy weather conditions or a surprise breakdown, having an emergency kit in your car can make all the difference.
Every driver should keep a shovel, ice scraper, jumper cables, flares, first-aid kit, and blankets in their vehicle just in case they are stranded on the side of the road. Having one of these kits could potentially help you avoid expensive towing services or worse scenarios!
Don’t overlook the value of being prepared and putting in those few extra minutes of effort to ensure that your next roadside adventure is a safe one.
Don’t let your gas tank get too low
Not keeping a half tank of gas in your vehicle can be dangerous, especially during the winter. If you get stranded due to the weather, you won’t have enough fuel to keep it running while waiting for help and could end up in a very dangerous situation.
The time spent on the side of the road can also increase your chances of getting into an accident, so it’s best to always make sure you have at least half a tank of gas whenever possible.
Staying prepared with a full or nearly full tank is always more reliable and better for your peace of mind – not just in winter, but all year round.
Check your tires
Every winter, it’s a good idea to take the time to check your tires. Get a decent tire gauge and check the pressure in each of your tires. Make sure the inflation level is according to the manufacturer’s recommendations printed on the door jam of your car.
Additionally, you should test the tread depth of your tires too. If you feel like it’s getting worn down—particularly in areas where roads get icy and slippery—it might be time to replace them. Taking a little extra precaution can save you from losing control of your car while driving during inclement weather.
Change your car’s oil and filter
Changing your car’s oil and filter can be a great way to keep your vehicle running efficiently. By doing this on a regular basis, you can ensure that all of the components under the hood run smoothly and allow you to get the most out of using your car.
Whether you are new to car maintenance or an experienced handy person, taking the time to learn how to do this job yourself can save time and money — and it’s not as difficult as you might think!
With the right equipment, it only takes around 30 minutes, so no matter how busy you are, you don’t have to break your schedule just for regular maintenance.
Slow down and be cautious when driving
In difficult winter driving conditions, there’s no reason to rush–it could lead to disaster. Instead, take your time and drive cautiously; keep your speed down and increase the distance between you and other vehicles.
The roads can be slick, so give yourself extra time to slow down and come to a stop. Precaution is key when it comes to safely navigating icy or snowy terrain; make sure you have the appropriate winter tires for better traction on the roads and always keep alert for potential changes in road conditions.
Drive as if you are an extra pair of eyes for other drivers–take notice of oncoming cars and apply courteous driving practices to ensure everyone arrives at their destination safely.
Winter driving can be dangerous, but if you take the necessary precautions, you can stay safe on the roads. Be sure to get a winter car checkup and keep an emergency kit in your car before the snow starts falling. Always drive slowly and carefully in winter weather and never let your gas tank get too low. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy a stress-free winter season on the roadways.
Download your insurance company’s app so that you can have instant contact with them in the case of a winter accident
In winter weather, accidents can happen unexpectedly and have serious consequences. It’s important to be prepared to easily contact your insurance company in such an event, so downloading their app is a great idea.
If you have USAA, not only will the USAA mobile app put you in instant contact with your insurer, but it may also include helpful resources on understanding your policy or filing a claim for an incident that’s just occurred. Downloading the app ensures you’ll have quick access to your insurance information and help when you need it the most.