Winter Weather Means Special Care for Your Car

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If you live in a place where winter includes snow, and rain, and temperatures cold enough to freeze either of those, then you need to prepare your vehicle for the season.

In places such as Wisconsin, winter never fails to come as a surprise for some drivers. One day, it seems as if you are observing the beauty of autumn, the leaves are falling gracefully to the ground in a kaleidoscope of color, and then the next day, you're stuck in a snowdrift three feet high, because you had no idea you would need the snow tires, or chains on your tires this early.

Important items no driver should be without in winter.

As soon as October has begun, winter is not far behind. This is a good time to start preparing your vehicle, and yourself for winter driving. There are some things that you should keep in your car as soon as the season starts to head toward winter.

&bull Gloves

&bull Ice scraper

&bull Windshield brush

&bull Blanket

&bull Lightweight shovel

&bull Small bag of sand, or cat litter

&bull Pocket hand warmers

&bull Road flares

&bull Jumper cables

&bull Flashlight

&bull A change of clothes, including thick socks, thermal insulated under garments (long johns)

&bull Snow boots

Keeping a cell phone charging in the vehicle is also a recommended precaution, make sure that the phone is reliable and has good range coverage. If you end up in trouble, on a lonely road, in the dark of night, in the deep cold of December, every one of those items will be useful, and helpful.

Winter weather car maintenance.

Once you have your winter weather safety measures taken care of for your person, it is time to take into consideration, any winter weather maintenance precautions that your vehicle may need.

-> Check your brakes, icy roads are dangerous enough without adding faulty brakes to the situation.

-> Make sure that your battery is strong and in good condition. Jumper cables will do you no good if no one comes along.

-> Have your heating/cooling systems checked, a car that won't start is taking you nowhere, and a car that overheats might leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere.

-> Your exhaust system should be in top condition, even a tiny leak in your muffler, or tail pipe is dangerous in winter, the carbon monoxide escapes into the car, and the windows are closed.

-> Occasionally add antifreeze to your gas tank, and keep your gas tank full all winter long, running out of fuel in the winter, makes for some bitterly cold walks for help.

-> A complete diagnostic check of your engine will eliminate some of the potential problems you could face later on.

-> Make sure that your wipers, defrosters, and heater work well. Problems with these could make a bad situation worse when you need them the most.

-> Invest in good snow tires, or snow chains. Good tires mean less chance of ending up in an accident, or a snow bank.

One of the most important winter weather precautions, that many people never consider, is that if the weather and the roads are bad; do not venture out unless it is absolutely necessary. Stay at home where it is safe, and warm, if you really don't have to go out in the cold.