Winter is approaching and freezing temperatures are ahead. It is the time to schedule a vehicle check-up to ensure your car is ready to take on cold weather, ice, and snow. Simple maintenance can help your vehicle run safely and efficiently all winter long.
Check Tire Tread and Inflation
The tread on your vehicle’s tires grips the road and helps to maintains stability. Tires with uneven tread or excess wear and tear are more likely to lose friction and skid out, especially on slick roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), tread should be a minimum of 2/32 of an inch.
Proper inflation is equally as important for safe handling. The recommended tire pressure for your vehicle can be found in the user’s manual or on the sticker on the interior near the driver’s door.
During the cold, snowy months of winter, you will need as much stopping power as possible. It takes more time and space to come to a stop on icy or snow-packed surfaces. Be sure to increase your following distance from the vehicle in front of you and repair or replace your brakes and rotors as needed.
Top Off Fluids
Antifreeze keeps your vehicle’s engine from freezing over in low temperatures. You might need to top off your coolant/antifreeze at the start of the season, especially if you have used your air conditioning a lot during the summer. While you are at it, check oil, transmission, brake, and wiper fluids as well.
Test the Battery
Cold weather slows down the chemical reaction that happens in vehicle batteries. At around 32 Fahrenheit, that process can drain the battery by around 35 percent. You do not want to get stuck in the cold with a dead battery. Check the battery charge at the beginning of winter and keep a set of jumper cables in your vehicle at all times.
The start of winter is a good time to inspect all of the lights on your vehicle. Replace any burned-out bulbs and clean the glass for optimal visibility in harsh weather. When all of your lights are in good working order, you will see the road ahead more easily and you will be more visible to other drivers.
Service the Climate System
If you have not used your heating system in months, you want to make sure it is working well before that first cold snap arrives. If it seems to take forever for the heater to produce warm air, if the air is too hot, or if the heater produces an unusual odor, it probably needs to be serviced.
Inspect Wiper Blades
Working windshield wipers are essential, especially when it rains or snows. Auto experts recommend replacing wiper blades every six months. You need to replace them sooner if blades are leaving streaks, not making consistent contact with the glass or if the rubber is cracked or shredded.
Pack Emergency Supplies
If you break down or get into a car accident, it is important to have certain supplies available in case of emergency. In your kit, keep water, non-perishable foods, flares, a phone charger, basic first-aid supplies, and blankets to help you stay warm until help arrives.
Driving in chilly weather requires extra patience and preparation, especially in snowy conditions. Service your vehicle, take your time, and prepare for emergencies to stay safe and warm while driving this winter.
West Chester Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Can Protect Your Rights After a Cold-Weather Accident
One of our West Chester car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. can help you after a winter accident. If a careless driver has injured you, we will help you explore your legal options. Call us at 610-565-3701 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. We have offices in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, including Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.