If you are sticking close to the greater Albuquerque area for the holidays, chances are you won’t run into severe winter weather. But many Albuquerque residents are transplants who will return to their childhood stomping grounds in chillier parts of the country. If you’re making that trip in your car, make sure your vehicle is ready for harsher winter driving conditions. Here’s how:
Top Off Coolant/Anti-Freeze
You absolutely must prevent fluid in your engine from freezing. Check coolant levels before you hit the road and top off when necessary. Take extra with you. Better to have it than to need it, right?
Check Your Tire Tread
Although tires are not legally considered “bald” until they reach 2/32” tread depth, you need much more tread than this to effectively channel away snow and slush. At minimum, your tires should have at least 6/32” tread depth left if you are going to be driving in snowy, wet conditions.
Checking tread depth is easy—all you need is a penny. Place the penny upside down between tread grooves in your tire. If you see:
- The top of Lincoln’s head, you have about 2/32” of treadàtime to get new tires
- The top of Lincoln’s head is covered but you can see his forehead, you have about 4/32” of treadà you need new tires for your holiday travel
- Nothing above Lincoln’s nose, you have about 6/32” of treadàyour tires are okay for moderate winter driving conditions
Pack Your Emergency Supplies
Hopefully a full tank of gas and reliable GPS system will get you to your holiday celebrations without incident…but better to be safe than sorry. Before heading into the winter wonderland, make sure you have:
- Extra clothes and shoes (for each passenger)
- Snacks and water
- First aid kit
- Flashlights and batteries
- Jumper cables
- Sand or kitty litter (grit for traction)
Making sure someone at your destination knows your expected arrival time can be helpful so that someone can check in with you (or alert authorities) if weather gets bad.
While we can’t do your packing, the ASE-certified mechanics at Quanz Auto Body can take care of the rest of your vehicle travel prep. Contact us to schedule seasonal maintenance service to ensure your car is ready for cross-country winter adventures.