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Get Your Car Roadworthy for Winter Travel

Posted by Unknown on Dec 24th 2018

Snow, Road, Winter, Car, Roadtrip, Road Trip, Snowstorm

[image: https://pixabay.com/en/snow-road-winter-car-roadtrip-1281636/]
Editor, Rae Steinbach

Get Your Car Roadworthy for Winter Travel

As the temperatures drop and the possibility of snow and ice increases, you have a lot you need to do to get
ready for winter. Along with switching to your cold weather wardrobe and getting your home ready for winter,
you should also spend some time making sure your car is prepared for the coming season.
Winter roads can be perilous and the harsh conditions increase the chance of a breakdown or accident.
Knowing what to do after a car accident is important, but taking preventative measures can help you avoid these
instances. The following are a few tips to help you get your car ready for winter.

Inspect Your Tires

A good set of tires will help you keep your car on the road and avoid collisions. Regardless of the season, you
should perform regular inspections to make sure your tires are up to the task.
You should start by checking your tire pressure. You can determine the correct pressure reading by looking it up
in the manual for your car. If you do not have the manual, you should be able to find the manufacturer’s
recommendation on a sticker in the doorjamb of the car or under the trunk lid.
Beyond pressure, you also want to check the tread on your tires and inspect for signs of damage. If your tires are
damaged or worn, you will need to have them replaced.

Check Your Antifreeze/Coolant

Antifreeze is important for regulating the temperature of your engine. If your antifreeze is old, it may need to be
changed and if it is low, you may need to top it off. Otherwise, you run the risk of fluids freezing in the engine
which can cause some serious problems. Before the temperatures get too low, take the time to
check the levels and condition of your antifreeze/coolant.

Switch to Winter Windshield Wiper Fluid

Most people might not realize it, but there are different types of windshield wiper fluid. Most of the windshield
wiper fluid you will find is designed for use in warmer temperatures and will not serve you as well in the winter.
In fact, this type of fluid can freeze on your windshield and make it harder to get it clear. Winter windshield wiper
fluid has a de-icer that makes it easier to remove ice and clean your windshield in colder temperatures.

Change Your Oil

Hopefully you are staying on top of getting your regular oil changes, but when winter comes around, you may want
to consider changing the weight of your oil. As temperatures drop, the oil in your car will get thicker. As the oil
thickens, it will not flow as well through the engine. To correct for the colder temperatures, you want to go with a
thinner oil during winter.
To find a thinner oil, you just need to look at the winter viscosity rating of the oil. This is represented by the first
number in the specification. A lower number means less viscosity. For example, 5W-30 will be thinner and less
viscous than 10W-30 in cold temperatures.

Make a Winter Emergency Kit

You should keep an emergency kit in your car all year round, but winter comes with additional considerations. For
this reason, you should put together an emergency kit that is specifically suited for winter travel.
Your winter driving emergency kit should include a first aid kit, flashlight, road flares, phone charger, an emergency
radio, an extra set of gloves, blankets, water, snacks, an ice scraper, road salt, and sand.

By keeping these points in mind, you will be able to rest easy that your car can transport you safely during the
winter months.
Editor, Rae Steinbach:

"Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course."

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