When fall nears an end and winter arrives, the weather can change drastically and often without warning, leaving many drivers unprepared. Winter weather can lead to any number of issues from a broken down vehicle to poor driving conditions to a fender bender. “Dangerous weather conditions, as well as an area of the roadway that is hazardous, can contribute to a potentially deadly accident,” says Boston Car Accident Lawyer, Michael D. Kelly. Don’t let the weather catch you unprepared this winter, check out these winter car care tips and winter survival hacks to keep you going all winter long:
Prepare Your Car for Colder Weather
One of the most important things before winter hits is to make sure your car is in good working condition. While vehicle issues can happen unexpectedly, a bit of preventative care can extend the life of your car.
- Tires: Driving with bad tires is extremely dangerous. Once the tread wears down, your tires are more or less worthless. A good and simple way to check the tread on your tires is by placing a penny in any of the tread. If Lincoln’s head is covered, you’ve got good tread. If not, it’s time to get new tires. You wouldn’t walk around on ice and snow without good tread on your shoes, would you? Don’t drive with bad tires; it’s a danger to you and everyone else on the road.
- Batteries: A good battery is essential to keep you from getting stranded during the coldest of weather. Keep an eye on your car battery’s terminals, if they’re kept clean you will get a good connection. Occasionally, a white buildup will form on the battery terminals. The best way to keep it clean is with a wire brush and a water and baking soda mix.
- Winter Emergency Kit: Whether you are driving to work or across country, it’s a good idea to have a winter emergency kit in your car. You can either buy one or build your own, but make sure it includes some of the following items: a blanket, jumper cables, extra winter clothes, a flashlight, a shovel, and non-perishable food items.
Winter Car Care Hacks
Forgot your car scraper or can’t de-fog your windshield quickly enough? There are a lot of tips and tricks to try out that don’t cost a lot or take too much time. The next time you find yourself challenged by winter weather, try these out:
- Scraper-less: It’s always a good idea to have an extra scraper in your car, but if you forgot a scraper or in the event that one breaks, grab a credit card. Nervous to use your plastic as a scraper? Use a plastic gift card.
- Fogged Up: Good visibility is essential when driving, regardless of the weather. In the winter, the windshield can get fogged up at some of the worst times. To eliminate extra moisture in your car, try filling a sock with cat litter and leaving it in your car. Putting a generous layer of shaving cream on your windshield can leave an anti-fogging layer on your windshield after you wipe it away.
- Traction and Protection: Socks are a cheap and easy way to help you avoid some common winter weather issues. Not only can you wear them over your shoes to provide extra traction on snow and ice. Also try putting socks on your wipers to prevent them from getting iced over.
- Iced & Locked Out: An iced lock can be frustrating. Some winter survival “hackers” suggest heating up a key with a lighter before putting it in the lock or putting a dab of hand sanitizer on the lock.