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Prepare Your Car for Winter Weather

BY KIM HUGHES –

Prepare for extremely cold weather every winter – it’s always a possibility.  There are steps you can take in advance for greater wintertime safety in your home and in your car.

  • Avoid dangerous winter travel problems by planning ahead.
  • Have maintenance service on your vehicle as recommended.
  • Check the antifreeze level.
  • Keep the gas tank near full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.

Be sure to check the following: heater, defroster, brakes, brake fluid, ignition, emergency flashers, exhaust, fuel, oil, battery, and radiator.

Have maintenance service on your vehicle as often as the manufacturer recommends.  In addition, every fall, do the following:

  • Have the radiator system serviced or check the antifreeze level yourself, with an antifreeze tester.  Add antifreeze as needed.
  • Replace windshield wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture.
  • Replace any worn tires; make sure the tires have adequate tread, and check the air pressure in the tires.

In winter weather minimize travel, but if travel is necessary, keep the following in your vehicle:

  • Cell phone, portable charger and extra batteries
  • Shovel
  • Windshield scraper & spray de-icer
  • Battery powered radio with extra batteries
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Water
  • Snack food
  • Extra hats, coats and mittens
  • Blankets
  • Chains or rope
  • Tire chains
  • Road salt and sand
  • Booster cables
  • Emergency flares
  • Bright colored flag or help signs
  • First Aid Kit
  • Road maps
  • Compass
  • Waterproof matches
  • A can or container to melt snow for water
  • Paper towels

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