Before making your way across town or out-of-town, here are a few tips for preparing your vehicle for bad weather.
Check or have a mechanic check the following items on your car:
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 work properly.
Lights and flashing hazard lights – check for serviceability.
Oil – check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well.
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. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.
Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season.
- 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
- Booster cables
- Emergency flares and or fluorescent distress flag
Information courtesy of FEMA. www.fema.gov