If you live in an area with harsh winters or just like to spend your time doing outdoor winter sports, you will likely drive your vehicle through snowy or icy conditions. Even though the colder months only last for a short time, it’s still essential to take care of your car during these times. Consider using quality products like those available at JennyChem to ensure your car’s antifreeze is up to the task, preventing engine damage and maintaining optimal performance in freezing temperatures.
You can take many preventative measures to winterize your vehicle, and some might even help you save money on insurance costs. Your provider may offer you a discount for winter tires, winter wipers, or other safety steps you take to keep your car safe during the frosty weather.
While there are many ways to help keep your vehicle in its best condition, some winterization steps are more critical than others. These tips are the best way to keep your car and yourself safe during winter.
Switch to Winter Tires Once Temperatures Start Dropping
There are many options when it comes to tires. A popular choice for many drivers is all-season tires. While these tires are excellent for those who live in moderate climates, people who experience harsh winter weather may need more.
Between the snow, ice, and freezing temperatures, winter is challenging on your tires. Rather than driving on smooth pavement, your tires are subjected to a lot more difficulty during colder months.
Winter tires are specifically designed to work with winter weather conditions with features like flexible rubber, deeper tread depth, and better traction. Not only will these tires last longer because they are made for harsh weather, but they will keep you safer on the road when conditions are bad.
Keep an Eye on Tire Pressure During Harsh Winter Weather
Winter tires are an excellent safety measure while driving in frosty weather, but in order for them to work, you must properly maintain them. Checking the tire pressure of your tires is especially important in the winter, as freezing temperatures can cause pressure drops more rapidly than in warmer months.
When your tire pressure is at its proper level, you will have better traction and more control over your vehicle while driving. You’ll also see better gas mileage when tires are inflated correctly.
To keep your winter tires at their best, frequently check tire pressure throughout the colder months. If you own a vehicle that alerts you to changes in tire pressure, be sure to pay attention to your notifications.
Install Winter Wipers to Keep Your Windshield Clean and Safe
A common problem in colder months is snow and ice accumulation on windshields. On top of that, windshield wipers frequently freeze when temperatures drop below freezing.
Winter wipers can help alleviate this problem as they are specially made for harsh winter weather. The rubber on these wipers stops them from freezing or collecting ice, making it easier for you to clean off your windshield and see correctly. You’ll also save money with this product, as you won’t have to run your car while waiting for your wipers to defrost.
Good vision is essential to road safety, so wipers that aid your ability to see are vital to protect you while driving in inclement weather.
Keep Your Gas Tank Half Full at Minimum
It’s not uncommon for people to wait until the last minute to fill up their gas tank. Likely, this is a habit many have. However, in the winter months, letting your gas tank get low in the winter months is not ideal.
With so many potential dangers on the road during the cold season. All it takes is a small patch of black ice for you to skid off the road and find yourself stranded.
In instances like these, having enough gas is crucial. Freezing temperatures are dangerous, and keeping your car running helps you stay warm until roadside assistance arrives.
Put Together a Winter Emergency Kit to Keep in Your Car
If worst comes to worst, your most significant advantage is to keep a safety kit on hand in your vehicle. You can quickly put these kits together on your own with the necessary supplies to keep you safe in the event of an emergency, especially if you are fond of searching for a perfect outside adventure.
It may sound strange to put cat litter near the top of a must-have list for emergencies, but it can be a massive help if you find yourself stuck in snow or ice — just be sure to purchase non-clumping litter for this tip. Sprinkling a layer of cat litter under your tires can help you gain traction and move your vehicle.
An extra source of light is essential to any car emergency kit, as cellphone batteries can die quickly and leave you in the dark. In the winter months, daylight is at a minimum, so having a light source in case you get stranded is extremely important. It can help you see your surroundings and also wave down help if necessary.
Freezing temperatures can cause hypothermia quickly if you’re left with little warmth against the elements. Keeping extra clothing such as thick coats, extra socks, hats, gloves, and warm pants can be essential to staying warm. Spare clothes can also be critical if you need to change after getting wet from snow or ice.
Blankets or Sleeping Bags
Spare clothing is essential to avoid freezing, but blankets or sleeping bags can provide a better level of warmth. If you find yourself without a heat source while stranded, these essential items can help keep you warm until help arrives. You can also use them if you have pets or children in the car to protect them against the cold.
Large amounts of snow can make it nearly impossible to move your vehicle, even if you try to gain traction. A shovel allows you to move snow around and dig out your car if necessary. Many companies also make collapsible shovels, ensuring easy storage when not in use.
Keeping Yourself Safe With Winter Car Safety Tips
Driving during the winter months can be a stressful time. Large amounts of snow, ice, and freezing temperatures can cause damage to many aspects of your life — especially your vehicle.
If you want to keep your car maintained and, in turn, keep yourself safe, it’s essential that you properly care for your vehicle during this harsh time of year. Taking precautions such as adding winter tires and wipers, checking tire pressure, keeping your gas tank full, and adding a winter safety kit can help you stay protected while driving in inclement weather.
While preventing every possible scenario is impossible, these tips can help keep you safer on the road.
Alexandra Arcand writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, AutoInsurance.org. She is an insurance expert who lives in an area that experiences harsh winters. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with others to help keep them safe on the road.