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A Little Prep Can Help You Avoid the Perils of Winter Weather Driving

snowWinter’s cold temperatures can create hazardous road conditions for drivers. The frigid air also places additional strain on a vehicle’s working systems which can potentially result in a roadside break down. And in temperatures below freezing, it’s no time to be stranded! But with the right preparation, you and your car can navigate the winter’s worst conditions safely. Use these tips to weather the coming months:

– Check your tire pressure to be sure it’s at the proper level. In cold temperatures, tires lose air more quickly than during the warmer months. You can find your vehicle’s recommended psi rating on the driver’s side door paneling and/or the owner’s manual.

– Inspect your tire treads for wear and replace them if they are excessively worn. Rotating tires every 5,000 miles also helps them wear more evenly.

– Make sure your headlights, interior lights, heater, windshield wipers, and defroster are working properly and that the washer fluid reservoir is filled.

– Ensure that motor oil is at the proper level. Consider using a synthetic oil for the cooler months. Synthetic oil is recommended over conventional oil for the cold weather as it is designed to protect engines in a wide range of temperatures. Although synthetic may cost more initially, it lasts as much as three times longer than conventional oil which translates to 15-24 quarts less oil you will need to replace annually.

– Update your emergency road kit with winter weather necessities including blankets, a snow shovel, an ice scraper with brush, and a bag of salt, cat litter, or traction mats.