Winter is almost over, but a variety of risks affect your safety as you drive. This month, perform a maintenance check on your vehicle as you improve safety and reduce accidents.
Improve traction on slippery, snowy and cold surfaces with maintained tires. Check the tread, and inflate the tires based on manufacturer’s recommendations.
While you want to drive cautiously in winter weather, you also need a quality brake system. Check the entire system and replace worn parts as you ensure your vehicle’s brakes operate efficiently.
Cold weather can compromise your vehicle’s battery performance. Volt test the battery to verify that it’s working properly, and check the connections. If your battery is weak or older than three years, replace it and prevent the chances of being stranded in cold weather.
Numerous fluids protect your vehicle and help it operate properly despite plummeting temperatures.
- Gasoline – Keep the gas tank full to prevent the fuel pump from freezing and to help you stay warm if you’re stranded.
- Oil – A low-viscosity oil flows easily through your engine. Check the oil level, too, to keep your vehicle operating properly.
- Coolant – Fill the coolant reservoir with a solution of 50/50 antifreeze and water, and inspect the engine for leaks to ensure your engine doesn’t freeze.
- Washer Fluid – Top off the washer fluid so you can remove debris and slush and see properly as you drive.
Lights and Wipers
Daylight may last longer now, but your visibility can decrease when you drive at night or during storms. Replace broken light bulbs, restore foggy or yellowed headlights and replace wipers if necessary.
Defroster and Climate Control
To keep your windows clear of snow, ice or fog and to keep you and your passengers warm, check your vehicle’s defroster and climate control system. If you notice anything wrong with the performance of these essential features, visit your mechanic for a repair.
A survival kit could save your life if you become stuck in snow or are involved in an accident. Check your survival kit now and replenish any items you may have used previously this season. Essential gear includes:
- Shovel, de-icer and cat litter or sand
- Blankets, gloves, hats, extra socks and heavy boots
- First aid kit
- Knife and waterproof matches
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Jumper cables
- Cellphone charger
- Snacks and water
Maintaining your vehicle this winter can improve your safety and reduce accidents. In addition to vehicle maintenance, talk to your insurance agent. Update your auto insurance policy to ensure it covers accidents, and discover additional ways to improve safety as you drive this winter.