Today officially marks the first day of Autumn and it may seem that winter is far off, but it’s actually right around the corner. Before you know it, you’ll be swapping out your rake for a shovel and begging for warm weather again. I know you don’t want to think about it, but it’s just the truth. That’s why there’s no better time than the present to begin preparing your vehicle for winter. Getting a head start on winter driving preparedness means you’ll be ready when Old Man Winter rolls into town. Here are some simple tips for getting your vehicle winter-ready.
Check Your Tires
Above all else, the condition and type of tires on your vehicle will have the biggest impact on winter driving. It’s safe to say that majority of people will keep all-season tires on their vehicle. A separate set of snow tires would be best, but if your budget doesn’t allow for a second set of rubber, here’s what you can do to make sure your all-season tires will perform at their best.
First, make sure their air pressure is within spec. As the air temperature begins to drop, the air inside your tires becomes more dense, which results in under-inflation. Next, check the tread depth. If you don’t own a tire gauge, that’s okay. You can use a penny to get a good idea of how much tread is left. The idea is to inset the penny into on treads of your tire with Lincoln’s head upside down. The top of the tread should at least be between Lincoln’s ear and the top of his head. If the tread depth comes anywhere near to top of his head, you should seriously considering buy a new set. If you’re doubting your skills with a penny, or recognize they’re due for replacement, give any one of our five AutoStream locations a call and we can help.
Test Your Battery
Imagine trudging through the snow and ice, climbing into your car, ready to turn up the heat, and it just won’t start. This could happen to you if you don’t take the importance of your car battery seriously. Now is the best time to check your battery because all summer long the heat has taken its toll on your battery’s health. You may think your battery is fine, but once sub-freezing temperature set in, you could be in for a big surprise.
What you can do to prepare is have your battery tested at any of our conveniently located AutoStream Car Care Centers. Our technicians will perform a simple test to determine the overall health of your battery and whether it’s fit for duty this winter.
Pack an Emergency Kit
No one wants to be stranded in the snow, so it’s better to be prepared than sorry. Pack a simple emergency kit in the event of an emergency. Some essential items would be gloves, hat, blanket, boots, flashlight, a small shovel, tow rope, jumper cables, and if you still have space, some kitty litter. It sounds like a lot, but a duffle bag should hold most of these supplies. The use of most of these items is obvious, but you may be wondering, “why the kitty litter?” Kitty litter’s coarse texture is great for getting traction on slippery surfaces. Simply pour some in the path you want to travel and it should provide extra grip and help you gain momentum and get un-stuck.
The last item on this list is a vehicle inspection. While you could visually inspect your car yourself – and we strongly encourage routine checks – the best thing to do before winter start would be to bring your car to a certified repair shop like ours. We can quickly and accurately asses your vehicle’s health to verify it’s ready for the winter ahead. Don’t wait for a breakdown to happen, be proactive and visit any one of our five locations. Our friendly staff is here to ensure your vehicle is winter-ready!