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Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter Storms

drivinginsnowAs we head into the winter storm season, it is important to heed advisories by local and national weather services.  But if you can’t stay indoors with that cup of hot chocolate, here are some valuable tips to get your vehicle ready for weather-compromised roads:

  1. Be sure to have at least a half tank of gas at all times during the winter season.
  2. Check brake fluid level and see that brakes are providing even, balanced braking.
  3. Ensure that tires are properly inflated and have the appropriate tread depth. Look for signs of damage or uneven wear and replace or rotate tires accordingly.
  4. Check all exterior lights to insure you are visible to other drivers.
  5. Winter windshield wipers are made specifically to handle snow on the windshield so consider purchasing these.
  6. Inspect engine systems and make sure your battery is fully charged & connections are clean.  Be sure the alternator belt exhibits proper tension and is in good condition.
  7. Be sure the exhaust pipes are secure and check for leaks in the exhaust system.
  8. Check that oil is at the proper level.
  9.  Be sure there is a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water in the cooling system at the recommended level.

It is always a good idea to have an emergency kit in the vehicle with these items:

  1. Blankets and/or sleeping bags
  2. Cell phone
  3. Shovel
  4. Flashlight
  5. Traction aids (like cat litter or bag of sand)
  6. Emergency flares
  7. Jumper cables
  8. Water and snacks
  9. Windshield scraper and snow brush
  10. An extra pair of winter clothes
  11. Tow chain
  12. Matches

Using this tips will help keep you safe if you find yourself out on the road in the coming winter storms.