Getting stranded during the winter is inconvenient and even dangerous in some situations. It’s important you prepare well so your vehicle runs properly and you stay safe. Here are a few ways to get your car ready for winter weather.
Create a winter supply box stocked with essential items. These include jumper cables, warm clothing or a blanket, flashlight, shovel, ice scraper, first aid kit, lock deicer, a few snacks, and a bag of sand.
When the weather warms again, just pop the box out of the trunk and into the basement or garage.
Check Fluid Levels
Test the engine coolant and antifreeze levels. All you need is a test kit you can buy at any auto supply store. Top up as needed following your vehicle’s manual instructions.
Ensure you have plenty of winter-rated windshield wiper fluid in the trunk and check the wiper blades too.
Check Your Tires
If you’ve been putting off tire replacement for some time, do it before the weather’s terrible. You need good tread to manage wet, slippery, or snowy roads. Insert a penny into the tire tread with Lincoln’s head pointing inward. If you can see Lincoln’s entire head, your tires need to be replaced.
Check the tire pressure too. All you need is an inexpensive gauge you can buy at an auto supply store or department store. You can find the proper PSI for your tires on your vehicle’s inside door panel, in your manual, or online.
Oil Change & Basic Tune-up
Check your owners’ manual for the proper oil viscosity for your vehicle during the winter months. Many makers suggest a lower viscosity when temperatures plummet since it is thinner. It makes sense to coordinate an oil change with a basic tune-up.
A good mechanic checks hoses, filters, belts, and other components and swaps the oil so your vehicle runs at its best.
Test The Battery
A battery can work perfectly well when it’s warm outside, but it can fail when it’s cold. Pull into a battery shop or visit your mechanic. Most will test a battery for free, plus you’re already there if you need to replace it.
Top Up The Tank
Fill the gas tank and try to keep it topped up to at least half throughout the winter. Colder temperatures can lead to condensation in an empty gas tank.
When the water liquefies again, it sinks to the bottom of the gas tank and enters the fuel lines. This can lead to less or no fuel flow and a sputtering engine.
Check Your Insurance
The New Jersey Department of Transportation reported over 270,000 crashes and 591 fatalities in 2017. While caring for your car is important for safety, you can’t afford to ignore insurance.
Driving on state minimums doesn’t provide adequate coverage and driving during the winter can be very challenging. The right New Jersey auto insurance policy protects you from the financial implications of damage, injuries, and liability, which can devastate your life and impact your future earnings.
Don’t ignore insurance. Instead, talk to an independent insurance agency like ours. We can access the best possible coverage at the most reasonable rates to protect you well.