Important Items to Check for Optimal Winter Driving
Keeping your car properly maintained throughout the year is important to help ensure vehicle safety and performance. Proper maintenance is especially important in the winter as cold weather and challenging road conditions create unique Colorado winter driving challenges. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are a few things you can do to make sure your vehicle is ready for winter travel.
- Get your car serviced.
The next time you take your car in for an oil-change, have the mechanic do a detailed check of all your vehicles major moving parts. The inspection should include checking all belts, hoses, and the cooling system.
- Check your battery for proper voltage and capacity.
Colder temperatures will cause the battery to lose some of its power and ability to hold a charge. Add to that, a cold car requires more power from the battery to start up than normal. Therefore, it’s important to have a battery operating at full capacity.
- Once you’ve got your car started, let it sit in park and warm up for a few minutes before shifting into drive.
If your car has been sitting out in the cold for several hours this is especially important. In cold weather, oil and lubricants become thicker, and rubber and plastic can turn a bit more brittle. Your car needs a few minutes to warm up allowing for smoother operation and to save your vehicle from unneeded wear and tear.
- Make sure you can clearly see the road out all windows.
Being able to see ahead of you is vital for safe driving. Winter can throw a lot of mud, snow and ice at your windshield, make sure your windshield washer reservoir is full and your windshield wipers are in good condition.
- Check your tires for proper tread wear and inflation.
The fluctuation in winter temperatures can cause the air pressure in your tires to change, so it is important to periodically check the air pressure.
- Throw some extra supplies and emergency gear in your trunk.
Some items to consider include: snow shovel, ice scraper, kitty litter (to throw under your tires for traction), jumper cables, flashlight, extra blanket, first aid kit, water, and food. In an emergency these items could prove vital.
In the event of a car accident, McDivitt Law Firm has specialized lawyers who can help. Winter weather can be treacherous, so please be safe while on the roads this winter.