Whether you’re driving across town or out-of-town, your car needs prepping for the winter ahead. Snowy and icy roads create their own set of hazards for motorists so you want to be sure your car is in tip-top shape for these seasonal challenges.
So what do you need to get your car ready for winter? Check, or have a mechanic check, the following 12 items:
12-Point Car Safety Checklist
- Antifreeze levels – ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
- Battery and ignition system – should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
- Brakes – check for wear and fluid levels.
- Exhaust system – carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning. Check for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary.
- Fuel and air filters – replace and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas.
- Heater and defroster – be sure they are working properly.
- Lights and flashing hazard lights – check for serviceability.
- Oil – check to make sure there are no leaks in the system.
- Thermostat – make sure it works properly.
- Windshield wiper equipment – repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.
- Install good winter tires – make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions.
- Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season. This is a good practice any time of year.
- A shovel
- Windshield scraper and small broom
- Battery powered radio
- Extra batteries
- Snack food
- Extra hats, socks, and mittens
- First-aid kit with pocket knife
- Necessary medications
- Tow chain or rope
- Road salt and sand or bag of clay kitty litter
- Booster cables
- Emergency flares and or fluorescent distress flag
And don’t forget the 3 P’s of Driving:
- Prepare for the trip
- Protect yourself
- Prevent crashes
Information courtesy of FEMA.
Like what you read? We’ve got more helpful winter reads. Check out How To Survive Being Trapped In Your Car During A Snowstorm.