In Wisconsin, we’re no strangers to winter weather. Every year we’re hit with ice or snow and it’s important to prepare your vehicle for the winter weather. Check out some of our favorite winter weather car care tips to keep you safe and warm on the road.
Prepare an emergency kit.
The number one car winter weather car necessity is an emergency kit. Items to include are clothing items like a winter jacket, blanket, gloves, hat, and extra socks as well as hand warmers, flashlights, bottled water, energy bars and a battery pack to charge your cell phone. Hopefully you never need to use it, but this kit could be a lifesaver!
Hack: Rather than buying a pre-made kit or a bag to store your emergency kit, a winter coat or blanket can double as both kit necessity and storage! Bundle your supplies in a jacket or blanket and tie up the sleeves or blanket edges for a make-shift bag.
Replace windshield wipers and wiper fluid.
Low visibility and winter weather are a dangerous mix. Make sure your windshield wipers clean your windshield without leaving streaks and don’t smear a wintry mix across your front window. Keeping windshield wiper fluids full helps too since the fluid can help in breaking down any snow and ice on your windshield. Always remember to completely defrost your windshield and wipers as running windshield wipers on a frozen window can damage the mechanics.
Hack: Use socks to protect your windshield wipers from snow and ice. Just stand up your wiper blades and cover each one with a tube sock. This prevents ice and snow from collecting on the blades.
Check tire pressure and consider snow tires.
Tire pressure fluctuates in extreme weather so make sure you check your tire pressure regularly. Over-inflated or under-inflated tires are less safe and impact the traction your tires get on icy roads. Consider investing in snow tires that provide additional traction and can help keep you safe in winter weather.
Hack: Keep kitty litter in your trunk. Kitty litter helps weigh down the back of your car and is great for creating traction if you do get stuck.
Check your battery.
The winter months are tough on your engine and cause it to worker harder, placing extra strain on the battery. Even if your battery is relatively new, check for corrosion and loose cables, both of which can cause a brand new battery to malfunction.
Hack: Keep a portable battery pack in your car. If your battery dies, you may not see a passerby to jump your vehicle. Keeping one of these on hand, or calling a tow truck may be your only option on back roads.
Keep a full tank.
Even if you think you’re prepared, winter weather can cause unexpected traffic delays. Keep your tank full so you’re not scrambling to find a gas station if you get stuck in traffic caused by winter weather or accidents. In addition, a low gas tank has even more potential to damage your car with the cold and shifting temperatures.
Hack: Disconnect your battery terminals and smear with petroleum jelly to help prevent corrosion keeping your battery cranking through the winter!
We know this is not an exhaustive list and there are many tips and tricks to preparing for snow and ice. How do you prepare for the winter weather? Tell us in the comments below!