How do I prepare my vehicle for winter?
So, what’s in store for this winter? According to the Farmer’s Almanac: “The Days of Shivery are back!” For 2013–2014, they are forecasting a winter that will experience below average temperatures for about two-thirds of the nation. A large area of below-normal temperatures will dominate the north and east through New England. “With a combination of below-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation the stage will be set for Central and Northern New England to receive lots of snow.” And unfortunately, they are usually right!
This means it is even more important to properly prepare your vehicle, and yourself, for the pending cold and snowy season. But after all, we are tough New Englanders! So here are the most important tips:
1. Get your vehicle serviced before winter starts so your car will be in good working condition and your brakes should be checked to be certain they are working as best as possible when the snow hits. The roads are the most slippery after the first rainfall and are prone to being extremely dangerous when the snow hits. Our Jaffarian Volvo Service and Toyota Scion Service Departments are there to help you prep for a snowy winter. You can even book an appointment on-line and we service all makes and models.
2. Be sure you have good all weather tires and if snow tires are recommended for your vehicle, we recommend that you get them. We are having specials on tires now to help you save! We would be happy to check the tread to be certain they are in good working order. If not, they will not pass the state inspection, so there is another reason to know if your tires are worn.
3. Refill your windshield wiper fluid and test your windshield wipers to ensure they do not smear. You want them to be in great condition and do not want to be caught in a bad situation in this regard when the rain and snow hit for the first time. You may want to install new windshield wipers or even special winter windshield wipers that are wider and can handle the snow and ice. Your windshield wipers help control visibility and can play a big part in safe winter driving. Most people wait too long to replace them.
4. Like the Scouts teach: “Be prepared!” Keep a shovel, a small broom or brush and de-icing spray in your garage and/or in your car. If you park your car outside or in a place that is not temperature-controlled, your car is likely to be covered in ice or even buried in snow overnight. You may have to shovel or brush the snow away from your vehicle and the area around it to be able to pull out; assuming your driveway or street has been plowed. A few spritzes of de-icing spray will make it easier to melt the ice from your windows. Do not try to crack the ice, as you could break the glass.
5. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends those who live in cold and snowy climates to carry the following in their vehicles:
• a shovel
• windshield scraper and small broom
• flashlight and extra batteries
• snack food
• extra hats, socks and mittens
• first aid kit
• necessary medications
• tow chain or rope
• road salt and sand
• booster cables
• emergency flares
• fluorescent distress flag
In another Ask Gary, I’ll discuss how to avoid skidding and accidents. Fortunately if you drive a Volvo or Toyota, you’ve chosen the safest vehicles on the road! So as the first winter weather appears this week, make sure your car is ready for winter driving and you have the necessary supplies with you.
Here’s to safe driving in what may be a cold, snowy winter!