We’ve given you tips for how to get your car ready for winter to prevent accidents and breakdowns. But there’s still months of winter left to go. Here’s how to keep your car in shape for winter driving:
Top Off Your Fluids
Engine performance depends on a number of fluids—fuel (for combustion), oil (for lubrication) and water (for cooling). Everyone knows when and why to add fuel, but the under-the-hood fluids are often neglected.
Make sure you have sufficient coolant and that you have the right proportion of water and antifreeze to prevent water and water lines from freezing (which will actually cause your engine to overheat because nothing’s cooling it).
Remove Ice and Snow
Ice and snow accumulation impair visibility by you and of you. In addition to removing precipitation from your windshield, also make sure to clear your head and rear lights. Kicking off snow and ice around your wheel wells is a good idea, too, as it can prevent ice from rubbing against the tires and/or causing balance issues.
Stock Your Emergency Kit
Always be ready for emergencies. Make sure you stock:
- Additional fluids (fuel, oil, coolant, etc.)
- Kitty litter or other “grit” to provide traction
- Change of clothes
- First aid kit
This may seem like a lot of gear, but you’re not preparing to be stranded for weeks, just hours—hours that may inconveniently intersect with dinnertime. However, you do need to be prepared for emergencies with passengers, so make sure to pack items for your family as well.