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Prepare your vehicle for winter driving

Before driving during harsh weather you should check your vehicle to make sure you're prepared to drive in the winter.

Reliable transportation is especially important in the winter. As a car owner you want to make sure your vehicle is working properly before heading out in the snow. Make sure to check the following before you drive during the winter:

  • Ignition system
  • Fuel system
  • Belts
  • Fluid levels
  • Brakes
  • Exhaust system
  • Wiper blades and windshield washer fluid
  • Snow tires
  • Tire tread and pressure
  • Defroster
  • Proper grade oil
  • Cooling system
  • Battery
  • Lights
  • Antifreeze

Before driving during harsh weather

Before driving during harsh weather, make sure you do the following:

  • Charge your cell phone and keep a car charger for emergencies.
  • Always fill the gas tank before a long trip or even for a short distance. Keeping your tank full may prevent condensation.
  • Clear all windows and lights of frost and snow.
  • Ensure that your headlights are on.
  • Stock your car with basic winter driving equipment.
  • Warm your car battery ahead of time if possible, as the battery can provide a lot more power when warm. You can warm the battery by using a battery wrap or blanket when the battery is removed from the car.

Winter car supplies

It's never bad to be prepared for anything that may happen, especially on the road during winter. Here are supplies that will help your car moving:

  • Jumper cables
  • Snow shovel and scraper
  • Windshield scraper and brush
  • Extra windshield washer fluid and antifreeze
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • Flares or reflectors
  • Brightly colored cloth to use as a flag
  • Sand, road salt, strips of carpet, or kitty litter for traction
  • Tire chains or traction mats
  • Tow rope
  • Cloth or paper towels
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Basic tool kit (pliers, wrench, screwdriver)
  • Road maps

Emergency supplies

To keep yourself and other passengers safe while out in snow or ice, you'll want to have a few items in case of an emergency:

  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Extra clothing: cap, mittens, parka, and overshoes or boots
  • High calorie, non-perishable foods (such as candy, dried fruits or canned nuts)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Necessary medications
  • Pocket knife
  • Manual can opener
  • Container of water

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