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Winter-Proofing Your Car

During the winter months, it’s difficult to tread the mounds of snow and ice on the road. Winter also poses serious risk to drivers everywhere due to decreased maneuverability and visibility on the road. Accidents are more prone to happen, which calls for precautions. Before getting out of your garage, make sure to follow these pointers on winter-proofing your car.

Use Appropriate Washer Fluid and Wiper Blades

Even on non-winter months, having windshield wipers is a big part of road safety. They give you the clearest view of the road. Imagine not having them during a winter storm. A good pair of winter wiper blades is a great investment and could mean life and death during winter. These are especially designed to work well against the freezing cold and other forms of precipitation. The blades are coated with a rubber protective layer that prevents snow and ice from freezing the wiper. A pair will cost about $20-40 depending on the brand and size. Experts suggest using “cold weather” washer fluid as well. Opt for brands that contain antifreeze to protect your engine while on the road. screen-shot-2015-10-11-at-11-26-16-pm

Keep a Shovel in Your Trunk

You never know when your tires might hit a dense patch of snow while driving. This is where having a shovel with you at all times can come in handy. Stretch out those arms and start digging yourself out. You don’t need a fancy shovel, just one that is durable enough to do the job and can be stored in the trunk.

Use Thinner Oil

Winter weather can thicken your engine’s oil, which makes your battery work extra hard to keep the vehicle running smoothly. Over time, this can cause a break in the battery and cause double the trouble with the engine. To avoid this, simply switch to a thinner oil. Consult an auto expert or read your car’s manual for which oils to use (some oils are not compatible with certain cars). However, most engines do well with 10W-30, 5W-30, or 5W-20 formulas.It won’t hurt to change your oil filter, either. This can keep fluidity maintained for a longer period of time.

For reference, here are some things NOT to do with your car:

Pack an Emergency Survival Kit

It sounds gruesome, but being prepared is better than nothing. You can’t predict when a tire will blow out, when your engine may give out, or when the winter snow will become too much while on the road. It’s wise to take precautions and protect yourself. Pack a kit in your trunk or the back of your car. Have essential supplies such as food and water, a thick blanket, extra clothes, a flashlight, and even phone batteries or portable chargers to be able to contact help.The Boy Scouts said it best – Always be prepared. Nothing is certain and one can never know how bad the weather can get during winter. Protect yourself and your car by going out ready and equipped for anything that may happen.