Winter Is Coming – Five Simple Tips To Help You Survive On The Road
It's November 3rd at it's 58 degrees in Buffalo…normal? Actually the normal for this date (11/3) is 52 degrees, but as we have seen before anytime this month we can expect s***! No actually I was thinking SNOW, but whichever term you prefer…are you ready? More appropriately is your car/truck ready? Here are some of the things you should be thinking about.
All Season Tires vs. Snow Tires
So-called “all-season” tires coupled with front-wheel-drive and anti-skid systems, have allowed many of us to forget about “snow tires”. Here are some things experts say you should keep in mind: 1) Because of different styles in cars manufacturers have started using wider, low-profile tires. These tires, for the most part are worse in the snow. 2).New tread patterns and rubber compounds for winter tires make them quieter on dry roads, and even more effective on snow and ice. If you choose winter tires, vendors such as The Tire Rack and Discount Tire Direct offer packages with the tires already mounted on a new set of wheels which saves mounting on your existing wheels twice a year. [More on snow tires]
Winter Wipers, Do I Need Them?
Check your windshield wiper blades, which generally are good for about a year. If your car doesn’t have the newer “beam blade” wipers (don't have an external spring), consider a pair, especially for winter. When snow or other freezing precipitation is in the forecast, pop your wipers up when you park so they're not in contact with your windshield. This will make it easier to scrape your windshield and reduce the chance that you burn out the wiper motor by turning those wipers on, when they are frozen to the windshield. [More on winter wipers]
This should be your first thought when it comes to winter car care. Chances are good your engine coolant is fine for the winter ahead. If you’ve followed your car’s service schedule. Most newer cars have coolants that can last five year.Check your owner's manual. If you doubt your coolant, go ahead and have it “flushed and filled.” Prestone's Extended Life, will work for any car. [More on antifreeze]
Wax Your Lights (no I am not kidding)
It takes about two minutes to do. Make sure the headlights and taillights are clean of dirt, rub car wax on them, let it dry and buff it off. The slippery surface will be less likely to allow ice to build-up when road slush refreezes on your car — and will make it easier to remove it if it does. [More on waxing your headlights]
Winter Survival Kit
No, not a bottle of “Jack” and a clean glass…. A space blanket, and some other things I will mention in a minute, and don't keep it in your trunk, if you get in an accident and can't get out of your car, it will do you little good. A space blanket's ability to keep you warm could be a lifesaver — costs less than $10. Here are some more items to consider: • Whistle • Plastic bag for gathering snow for water • Plumber's candle & lighter • Single-edged razor blade (cut up your upholstery for insulation) • Empty metal soup can (for melting snow with the candle) And remember to keep your gas tank full in the winter and have a cell phone charger or adapter that will work off your car's electrical system. [Winter Survival Kit]