Winter driving is a challenge for most drivers since the slippery roads can make it hard for you to take control of your car. You and your car have to be prepared for all the conditions the winter months bring in. These steps will help you learn how to prepare you and your car for the winter.
- Prepare equipment you might need. In case of an emergency like getting stuck in the snow and you can't budge your car, you will need some emergency equipment to help you survive the cold winter weather in the car until help arrives. Some of these items may even get you unstuck to get your vehicle moving again. Prepare a first aid kit for those unexpected moments when you or your passenger gets an injury. You must have different types of bandages and medicines to treat cuts, wounds, bruises or broken bones until you can get professional treatment. Blankets will be useful if you have to spend some time in your car to keep you and your passengers warm. Carry lighting devices like flashlights, candles and matches to help you see when it gets dark. Flares and early warning devices can help other vehicles and rescue teams find you when you get stuck. A folding shovel will be handy to free your tires from the thick snow. Have an extra cell phone handy and an extra charge battery for them to enable you to call for help.
- Prepare your car. Before you venture out in the harsh winter conditions on the road be sure your car or vehicle gets the proper maintenance and check up. First check the battery if there is sufficient power to start your car in the winter. The battery won't be as powerful in the winter as it was in the summer so you may choose to purchase a new and more powerful battery. Check the charging system if it is in perfect working condition so you won't stall in the middle of the road and find it hard to restart the engine. Check your coolant and make sure you have antifreeze in your coolant system. It is suggested to have a 50-50 ratio of coolant and water in your cooling system to protect your engine from freezing. The ratio has a lower freezing point and will protect your engine from a freezing coolant that could expand and cause serious damage to your engine. Make sure to get snow tires on your car for the winter; it makes a world of difference when driving on icy roads and make sure to have tire chains in your trunk for when you need them most to get you through the thick snow.
- Drive safely. Now that you car is geared for winter driving and you have all the emergency equipment you could possibly carry in your car, the only thing left is for you to drive as safely as you can. Winter driving is different from how you drive in the summer as you need to be extra careful on ice, snow and sleet. You have to do everything gently and slowly as sudden actions can send you skidding and slipping on to the next car or telephone pole. Remember to gently apply brakes and leave enough distance from you and the next car.
Being prepared for the winter conditions on the road can help you and your car survive the cold winter months and help avoid serious damage to you and your car.