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How to Prepare a Car for Bad Weather
The season is changing from fall to winter. With this change comes colder and wetter weather. We tend to spend more time indoors when bad weather happens. However, we are stuck in our vehicles if we have to travel outdoors.
Not all parts of the world have twelve months of sunshine and warm weather. For those who experience the seasons, you need to prepare your car for when the bad weather hits. Is your vehicle ready for the coming winter? How do you know if it is safe to drive your vehicle on wet and icy roads?
Now is the time to prepare your car for bad weather. Go over the below checklist and tick them off as you get everything done. Then you will be prepared for winter driving, regardless of what Mother Nature throws at you.
Get a Winter Tune-up
This is where your bad weather prep should begin. Having scheduled maintenance on your car will prolong its life. However, a winter tune-up includes extra measures for worsening conditions. Your dealership will make sure all fluids are topped up and there is antifreeze in your radiator. A new oil filter and oil change help for those cold/wet starts. Plus, having your wiper fluid topped up will help you keep your windows clear.
They will also examine your tires to see if they are safe for bad weather and you may want to purchase snow tires for the coming winter. Checking the battery to make sure it is in good condition is also vital during the colder months. Finally, you may need to replace your taillights to ensure you drive safely, even when the outdoor lighting conditions aren’t optimal.
The last thing you want to happen is to lose the ability to clean your windshield when it’s raining or snowing properly. Wipers only last around two years. If you are getting close to that, you may want to change them out now. It’s a fairly easy process to do it yourself. However, if you have problems, get a dealership or mechanic to help you out.
If you have a garage or covered parking, now is the time to make room for parking your car there. If you have to drive when it’s freezing and snowy, you will appreciate not having to scrape the windshield every morning. Also, it’s nice to get to your car without getting soaked during the rain.
If you need to park your car outside on the street, consider a car cover to protect the paint job from road salt. Washing and waxing your car will also help protect it.
Doors and Locks
When the freezing temperatures hit, you may have some trouble getting your keys into the locks on your car. They can freeze up easily, especially when there is rain and snow. You should buy silicone lubricants to spray on your locks and doors before the weather hits. They will keep them moving for sure. Keep a lubricant spray in the car with you in case you find any locks frozen. Some sprays come with s plastic straw to get right inside the lock mechanism.
Portable Battery Charger and Air Pump
You never want to get stuck with a dead battery or a flat tire in your car. In bad weather conditions, the situation can be pretty terrible. Fortunately, there are portable battery chargers that you can put in your trunk in an emergency.
You can get separate units or a combo unit to fill up your tire and jump your battery. Make sure and plug them in every few months, so they have a full charge for when you need it. They don’t take up much space and can literally save your life if you are stranded in bad weather.
This is a really important kit to have in your car when the bad weather comes. Road conditions can change fast. If you have an accident, you may need safety and survival items. There are some items you should include in your winter safety kit.
Firstly, include a snow scraper for everyday winter use, but have an extra on hand. Also, include a snowbrush that can be used as a combo scraper, brush or stand-alone device. You may also want a small shovel if you need to dig yourself out of a snowbank.
Secondly, put old blankets in the car when you upgrade your bed blankets. You will also find winter clothing useful, including gloves, toque, scarf, thermal underwear, and extra sock. Keep some emergency flares dry and safe. Equip your car with a first-aid kit, which should include standard medical supplies plus survival gear.
Finally, include jumper cables in the car all year round. Keep a flashlight in the glove compartment and one in a backpack. Have a cell phone charger, snacks, and a six-pack of water bottles. You can add any other survival items you think would help. You may think having all these supplies is extreme, but the survival kit doesn’t take long to put together and it comes in handy during emergencies.