Winter is here, and for many drivers that means facing the challenges of salty streets, icy roads, freezing temperatures, and heavy snow. And from low tire pressure to frozen fuel lines to salt damage, winter can take its toll on your vehicle.
Making sure your car is prepared for an emergency is more important than ever. Here’s a simple winter maintenance checklist to help you prepare.
Swap out regular tires for winter tires. Snow or not, if you live in an area where temperatures regularly fall below 45 degrees, winter tires are recommended. They're made to give you better traction while turning or stopping on cold pavement.
Check tire pressure weekly. Driving on underinflated tires can cause them to wear down prematurely and lose traction on icy or slippery surfaces. Your tires lose a pound of pressure with every 10-degree drop in temperature.
Keep your fuel tank half full. During winter weather, it's a good idea to keep at least half a tank of fuel in the vehicle in the event of an emergency or if you get stuck in the snow and need to wait for rescue.
Check Your Antifreeze. Antifreeze is one of the most important chemicals when it comes to caring for your vehicle in the winter. Antifreeze will prevent the water in your engine’s cooling system from freezing.
Add a protective layer. A coat of polymer wax can create a barrier against road salt, grime, snow, sleet and more. Couple that with high-pressure car washes after winter storms to rinse away buildup in hard-to-reach areas such as wheels, wheel wells and underbody.
Protect your windshield wipers. If you park outdoors, leave the wipers in the raised position to prevent them from freezing to the windshield. Never use your wiper blades to remove ice, snow or frost from the windshield; use an ice scraper instead. And make sure you top off your washer fluid.
Be prepared! Navigate through whatever Old Man Winter throws at you by making yourself a car kit with some essentials.
- Clothing. Make sure you have extra warm clothing in your car: hats, gloves, scarves, hand and foot warmers, thick socks and a blanket.
- Stay connected. Add a flashlight with extra batteries to your kit. You might also consider flares or a whistle, and an extra phone charger.
- Stay healthy. Grab some bottled water and other snacks. Make sure you have any medications you might need, along with a first-aid kit.
- Other necessities. Jumper cables are a good addition to your kit. A small camping shovel and extra ice scraper can also be lifesavers in snowy conditions.
So there you have it, simple steps to make sure your vehicle is protected during the harsh winter months. If you want to make sure your insurance plan is right for you, call CFC Insurance today at 309.243.1010 to discuss your best options, or request a free quote!