Ready or not, it’s here. Along with all those things we love about winter, ice and snow and plummeting temperatures give us some extra responsibilities when it comes to vehicle safety. Of course, there are precautions to take while you’re on the road, but this time, we’re going to focus on some maintenance issues to consider before your car hits those snowy roads.
Change the Oil
If you change your own oil, you probably realize a great benefit to making sure this task is done well before the temperatures dip below freezing. But there’s a reason other than cold concrete to motivate an oil change: Fresh oil helps your engine work properly when it’s cold. Dropping temperatures lead to slower movement when it comes to oil flowing through your engine, lubricating its critical parts. If you make sure the oil is fresh (and the correct viscosity), you’ll make up for that sluggishness just a bit. After all, you want to do everything in your power to ensure proper lubrication during winter startups. While you’re at it, be sure to have all fluids changed and/or topped off, so you’re ready for whatever winter throws your way.
Check the Battery
Even if your vehicle’s battery functions well in moderate weather conditions, it may not be strong enough to function well in extreme weather conditions. To make sure you’re good to go, have your battery load tested; if it’s good, it will have more than 9.6 volts under load. You’ll also want to be sure all cable connections are free from corrosion and are clean and secure.
Change the Wiper Blades
While the most important thing you need is to be sure your vehicle will start up and run well, you also want to make sure you’re able to operate it safely, which requires good visibility. When all that snow, ice, slush, and sleet come at you, you’ll want to have windshield wiper blades that can clear your view. Before winter hits, be sure to install new blades for optimal operation. You may also want to replace your washer fluid with de-icing windshield washer fluid. (It’s okay if you mix some regular windshield washer fluid with the de-icing fluid.)
Create an Emergency Kit
None of us wants to think about the possibility of getting stranded, but it’s best to be prepared. For starters, we recommend including the following items in your vehicle, just in case:
• Hand Warmers
• Extra Gloves
• Snacks or MREs
• First Aid Kit
• Bottled Water
The bottled water may freeze, but you’ll still be glad you had some on hand; just be sure to put it in a zip-top bag so you don’t end up with the other items getting soaked. You may also want to include some kitty litter to pour under your front tires in order to provide traction in case you get stuck. If you have children, you may want to pack extra blankets and snacks. Of course, always make sure you have a flashlight and cell phone charger on hand.
The Nicholas Insurance Agency, led by Greg Nicholas, is a family owned business serving the York county, Pennsylvania region. In the insurance business since 1981, Greg Nicholas helps families, businesses and individuals understand the value of different insurance products and make wise decisions when selecting the best insurance products for their specific situations.
Offering exclusively Allstate insurance products, the Nicholas Agency provides auto, homeowners, rental and landlord insurance as well as life & disability, recreational vehicle, motorcycle and personal liability insurance.
For more information, visit our two York, PA locations at Westgate Plaza or York Marketplace or call us at (717) 764-2024.