When it comes to deciding what to do with your car in the winter, you have the choice of either continuing to drive it or putting it in storage until spring. In either case, there are things you need to do to prepare your vehicle for months of frigid temperatures and other potentially damaging factors, but the preparation is different depending on your plans.
Prepping Your Vehicle for the Winter Roads
Whether you plan to take a long holiday trip or just continue to run routine errands, if you intend to keep driving your car during the winter, you have to make sure it is ready for the roads. During winter, the roads are frequently salted or sanded to melt the ice and provide better traction. These materials can damage the car’s body, but a coat of wax before the snow flies helps to protect it.
A major issue that occurs with winter driving is a loss of traction due to snow and ice on the road. This could cause you to run off the road or into another vehicle or fixed object. Snow tires have studs that help to provide more traction and prevent slipping. However, if the snow is very deep, studded tires alone may not be sufficient. You may need to acquire some snow chains that you can apply when conditions warrant.
Getting stranded in your car during a storm could be dangerous. It could put you at risk for developing serious medical conditions of frostbite or hypothermia. Knowing what to keep in your car during winter to keep you safe and warm until help arrives could save your life. Every driver should have a winter survival kit in his or her vehicle that includes the following:
- Blankets and extra clothing
- Drinking water and nonperishable food items
- Flashlight and batteries
- Candles and matches
- First aid kit
In addition, you should pack things that help you with car trouble that can arise due to winter weather, such as jumper cables in case your battery dies and a shovel and a bag of sand to help you extricate your vehicle if it gets stuck.
The Ultimate Winter Storage Accessories
Storing your vehicle is probably not a matter of life and death, as proper preparation for winter driving can be. Nevertheless, your car or truck represents a significant investment, and protecting it is even more important during the harsh months of winter.
While your car is sitting idle in the cold, the internal components can freeze, especially if you are storing your vehicle outside. You can prevent this by filling up the coolant tank to the recommended level.
One of the most important accessories you need when storing your car is a cover to protect it from precipitation if you store it outside and dust if you keep it inside. Car covers are available for either indoor or outdoor storage, so make sure you choose one that is appropriate.
Whether you store your vehicle or keep driving it through the cold months, winterizing it properly is crucial. Find everything you need to get your car through this season from auto parts retailers.