Winter presents drivers with unique hazards. The cold affects how our vehicles, and we, and our vehicles function on a daily basis. Your commute is longer, winter weather can affect road conditions for days on end, your car is left susceptible to a new list of malfunctions and inconveniences, and you have to take extra time to plan around all of this.
From your lifestyle to your beloved car, winter weather can be a hitch in your giddy-up. h/ere is some tips and gear to stock in your vehicle to ease the winter months.
Monitor tire pressure
Tire pressure decreases and increases one pound per square inch for every 10 degrees change. While many vehicles come installed with tire pressure readers, the technology is not always accurate or cordial. Plus, deflation is not always noticeable to the naked eye.
Deflated tires can be dangerous. The air pressure levels affect your tread and can be more susceptible to a blowout, something you never want period, let along in the winter. Drivers should aim to periodically check their tire pressure throughout the winter.
Check your tread
Speaking of tire grip, you should probably check your tires’ tread while you’re gauging the air pressure.
Better yet, inspect the rest of the vehicle while you’re at it. Specifically, under the hood of your vehicle. Check for any frayed hoses or cables, loose nuts, bolts and harnesses, and anything else that may cause problems during your commute. The last thing you want is to be traded in sub-freezing temperatures.
Batteries lose power
Winter weather hinders battery power. It’s highly recommended that you keep and parable jumper battery, jumper cables or both, incase the cold weather drains your car battery.
Ice removal tools
It’s actually a great idea to keep two ice scrapers on hand. One in your vehicle and one spare in the garage. That way, you can use the spare ice scraper if your car doors are iced shut.
Some cars are equipped with remote starters, which are life-savers in the winter months. Even Remote starters can still be installed in your vehicle even if doesn’t have one already. You’ll love not having to venture outside briefly to start your car, even if it only takes a few minutes. Remote starts are also a great solution to doors that are iced shut. Plus, you won’t have to sit in a cold car for 10 minutes while it warms up, or risk getting stolen if you choose to leave your car running in the driveway.
Replace wiper blades
Wiper blades should be replaced every year. If you’re approaching month 10 or 11 and winter will hit before your wiper’s expiration date, you might as well pull the trigger and buy heavier winter blades.
deicing washing fluid
If you haven’t already, replace your current wiper fluid with deicing wiper fluid. Wihel de-icing fluid cannot remove all the ice from your windshield, it can remove the tough spots you were unable to get with your ice scraper.
Keep some wood
In case you become stuck in the winter, wood acts as a great tool for getting your vehicle out of deep snow, especially if you’re a one-person-army. Simply wedge a 2 x 4 under each tire that propels your car and let your vehicle slowly crawl up the boards and out of the sow.
Use your auto-stick
It’s important to mention the power of using the manual capabilities on your automatic transmission. Do you see that the slot in your shifter label with a “+” and “-“? It’s great for winter weather.
With an automatic vehicle, the transmission controls the RPM. Your vehicle’s RPMs and tire speed might be telling the transmission you’re traveling at 45mph when in all actuality you’re stuck on a patch of ice. The key to getting off of those ice patches and handling random icy spots on your commute is by controlling your tire speed–the slower the tire speed, the better the traction. This can be done by using your vehicle’s manual features, the auto-stick.
Pack a winter emergency kit
Lastly, always remember to pack an emergency kit incase you find yourself stranded in freezing weather. Here are some items to pack.
- First Aid
- Sleeping bag
- Portable phone charger
- Portable air compressor
- small, simple tool kit
- Foldable shovel
- Gloves, hat, hand and foot warmers
- A list of towing/emergency services for commonly travelled areas, or plan ahead along your route