Preparing your car for autumn and winter helps keep families safe.
Preparing your car for winter driving is essential unless you live in a part of the world where there is little difference between summer and winter.
Failure to prepare your car for winter weather can result in a life threatening situation, that can be reduced with some preparation.
Steps to prepare your car for fall and winter.
Prepare for the worst weather you can expect in your area.
Also be mindful to include extra warm clothes and other necessities in case the weather worsens while traveling.
Check the radiator.
Make sure that the radiator and the reservoir are filled with antifreeze to the full line.
This is important to keep the engine properly cooled off and also for maintaining the flow of heat inside the car.
Keep car in garage, if you have one.
It helps to keep water from building up in the gas tank, gas lines from freezing. It will also keep snow and ice off your windshield and paint job.
A car cover will help reduce exposure to salts, and ice build up when you do not have a garage.
Make sure your heating system works.
Turn the heat all the way up, turn the defrost on and turn the blower all the way up.
Be certain that the air is hot, blowing on the windshield/windows, and when possible that the rear defrost works properly.
Inspect windshield wipers.
Make sure windshield wipers are not hardened.
Change the windshield wiper fluid to one that contains antifreeze.
Check the electrical system.
Make sure the battery is charging properly.
Be certain that all bulbs are working for all lights inside the car and outside the car.
Maintain the fluids.
If temperatures are at or below zero then you need to go to a lower viscosity oil.
Higher weight oils and transmission fluids do not lubricate sufficiently in colder weather for older cars.
Check your tires.
Check your tire treads by using a penny. Place the penny upside down with the head facing you.
If the penny is below the top of the head then your tire(s) needs to be replaced.
In cool weather the air inside the tire cools and gives the appearance that tire is low on air.
This will resolve itself once you begin to drive, just start off slowly.
Avoid driving in bad weather conditions.
Know where you are. Keep in touch with family or friends about when you leave, travel time and when you arrive at your destination.
Your emergency kit should include flares, flashlight, extra batteries, candles, lighter, matches, battery operated radio, two bags of sand, camping shovel, a sleeping bag, small first aid kit, and foodstuffs.
If you become stranded call an emergency number first, then call a family member and friend of where you are.
Do not try to walk for help.
Preparing your car for winter while the weather is still mild helps ensure fewer unexpected repairs during inclement weather.
This is part of regular vehicle preventive maintenance which helps your vehicle last longer.