Getting Your Car Ready for Winter
The winter months are quickly coming and have already appeared in some areas of the country. Where my family lives they awoke to a 12 inch “dusting” this morning after an overnight snow event. How I wish we were there! Our vehicles are definitely made to take the winter weather but not without some help from the drivers/owners and the dealerships.
How to Prepare Your Car for Winter
- Check your tire tread— To check your tire’s tread, use the “Penny Test”. You do this by taking a penny and placing it in the tread groove of your tire. Place the penny with Lincoln’s head facing you, and stick the penny in the tread so that the top of Lincoln’s head is no longer visible. If his entire head is visible while in the groove, it’s time to replace your tires.
- Fill Your Tires– Low tire pressure= winter danger. Take your car to your dealer such as Pearson Auto Group to have them add some air.
- Consider Snow Tires– While you are at the dealer consider adding some snow tires to your car, especially in areas with a high accumulation of snow per year.
- Make Sure Your Heater Works– No one wants to think about a commute in a vehicle with no heat.
- Have Your Battery Checked– Cold weather and a weak battery can leave you stranded somewhere very cold. While having your tires checked see if your local dealer has a winterization package to have the battery checked as well.
Driving in the Snow
- Allow extra time
- Remove snow & ice from your car
- Drive slower than usual
- Avoid using cruise control
- Be aware of black ice
- ALWAYS wear your seat belt
Stranded in the Snow
- Immediately call for help
- Decide if it is safe to leave your car
- Exit the car to check if your exhaust tailpipe is being blocked or clogged by snow. Clear out the area or pipe if necessary.
- If possible dig yourself out
- Always make yourself visible to avoid accidents. Tie something brightly colored to your antenna or other visible area.
- Run car often to avoid hypothermia. Remember to use gas sparingly and only turn on when necessary but try to keep the cabin area as warm as possible.
- Ration food and water. If you are stuck for a long period of time you have to make sure you are properly hydrated and have something to eat. In the winter months I keep a little supply of food and drink with me and although most beverages will freeze water is always a great option to keep on hand.
No matter where you live this winter we hope that you stay safe and don’t encounter any winter driving disasters. Having a vehicle that is properly serviced is one step in the right direction to staying safe on the roads. As always check with your local weather stations to be prepared as much as possible when storms are in the forecast. Happy Winter!