Winter War: Car tips to fight setbacks cold weather brings

1. Cleaning Your Windshield

One of the most annoying parts of your day can be when you are running late to school and you hurry out to your car only to see it covered in snow.  Luckily, there are some tips that you can use to speed up the process. The first thing you should do is start your engine and turn on the defrosters.Then, start brushing the snow from the top of the car to the bottom, so you aren’t pushing the same snow multiple times. You can also make a homemade ice defroster spray for your windshield by mixing vinegar and water together and spraying it on your windshield 5 to 10 minutes before you leave.

2. Checking Your Tire Pressure

Tire pressure often goes unnoticed until it is too late, so it is important that you are constantly checking your tire pressure. Tire pressure drops with colder temperatures and can lead to increased tire wear and loss of handling. To check your tire pressure, you need a tire pressure gauge that can be purchased for around $15. If your tire pressure is low, you can fill them up at any gas station with a gas pump.

3. Knowing Your Car’s Limits

If you have tried to drive a RWD car up a slick, steep hill in the winter, you probably haven’t been very successful. It is important to know your car’s limits and change your routes accordingly after it has snowed or when it is icy out. Give yourself an extra five minutes in the morning so you can take more time and be cautious for dangerous spots on the road.  

4. Keeping Your Gas Full

You should try to keep your gas tank full for several reasons. A full tank can prevent water from entering the fuel pump and freezing, ultimately damaging your car.  Keeping your car filled up on gas can also help you stay warm by allowing the engine to stay running in case you get stuck to keep you warm.  

5. Being Prepared

It is important to always keep a winter coat, cell phone charger, first aid kit and other supplies that could help you out in case of an emergency stored in your car, especially during the winter. You never know when you will be stranded on the side of the road in freezing cold weather. Always have access to your phone in case you need to call 911 or if you need assistance. Being prepared is the best way to stay safe during the grueling winter season.

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