With the weather shifting from warm and sunny days to brisk and chilly temperatures, is your car prepared for the upcoming winter months? According to Safe Winter Roads and the Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, more than 116,000 Americans are injured and over 1,300 are killed on snowy, slushy or icy roadways every winter.
Here are six ways to make sure you and your car is ready to withstand the cold weather of winter for a safe driving experience:
- Check your engine coolant and antifreeze levels. Antifreeze is essential for keeping your car’s engine from freezing in the frigid winter months. Without antifreeze, you may run into a situation where your vehicle will not start due to a frozen engine. This can be dangerous depending on the location of where your vehicle is parked and the time of day.
- Remember that not all windshield wiper fluid is the same, so it is vital to upgrade your windshield wiper fluid to winter wiper fluid. The normal windshield wiper fluid that is used in the summer months should not be used in freezing temperatures since it will freeze when it comes in contact with the windshield compromising your visibility. Winter fluid is designed specifically for the challenges of snowy and icy weather and will not freeze on your windshield.
- Switch to a winter-grade oil at your next oil change. In general, the colder the weather, the thinner you want the oil in your engine to be. The thickness of your oil in colder weather is indicated by the first number in the oil specification, with a lower number indicating better viscosity in cold weather. Check your vehicles manual for recommendations or talk with your mechanic for the oil that should be used in your car during winter months.
- Monitor your tire pressure. While it is important to check your tire pressure at least once a month, during the winter a tire’s pressure can drop as the air becomes frigid and colder. Tire pressure is measured by pounds per square inch (PSI). If uncertain about what level of PSI your tire should be, the proper inflation level can typically be found inside the driver’s door jam. You can check your tire’s pressure at most gas stations that have an air tank.
- Create a “winter emergency” kit for your car. Having a box full of winter supplies in your trunk can save the day when something goes wrong while traveling on a cold winter day.
Items to include:
- jumper cables
- first-aid kit
- warm clothes
- extra pairs of gloves
- a bag of sand or cat litter
- an extra ice scraper
- snacks with protein such as nuts
- Take a close look at your car insurance policy as winter approaches. Think about new risks that can potentially occur during the winter months and if changes in coverage are necessary. Falling trees that are weighed down by ice and snow, slick road conditions and poor visibility are all factors that can catch people unprepared for the winter weather and the damage that occurs without the proper coverage.
Review insurance coverage for all your motorized vehicles when the winter months’ approach otherwise, you may be left with unexpected and unforeseen expenses.
Contact Ross Insurance today to make sure your coverage is up-to-date for winter. Click here to make an appointment today or call (717) 397-4729 to speak with a Ross agent.