Yesterday, we talked about how Californians traveling to areas of the country affected by snow could stay safe while on the roads. Taking the proper precautions behind the wheel is absolutely essential amid streets that have been compromised by buildups of snow and ice.
But one thing we must also consider is that in addition to ourselves, our vehicles also have to be prepared for that kind of travel. In Los Angeles and nearby environs, we tend to worry more about how our brakes and gas lines can handle the stop-and-go traffic of the city, paying little mind to whether our automobile is suited to intense winter weather patterns.
Thankfully, a new report relates some vital winter car care tips from the the Car Care Council. If you’re leaving for a Christmas vacation, then you must consider the advice.
Those brakes we mentioned above are going to be your biggest aid on snowy roads or your worst enemy if not up to snuff. Bring your brakes in for necessary maintenance before your trip. That way, you can be sure that your automobile is capable of stopping in time on the slickest streets.
Cold can wreak havoc on your battery and other vehicle components. To that end, the battery is something that should also be checked to ensure it won’t give out on you when cold, bitter wind howls outside your car windows. To further protect yourself from the elements, you ought to have a professional verify that the heater is in working order as well. And while they’re at it, have a check of the exhaust system conducted so that you know there are no leaks that could lead you to sustain carbon monoxide poisoning.
There are also steps that you yourself can take that don’t necessarily require you to bring the automobile in to a maintenance facility. New antifreeze should be placed into the automobile every couple years, the same amount of time that the cooling system should as a whole be cleaned and flushed out. You can check your wiper blades for wear and tear, with an eye toward replacing them every half a year or so. Wiper fluids should also be filled as necessary. Also flick on your headlights and interior dome lights to be sure they work properly. Clean the mirk from the former if you need to so that you know you have adequate lighting and thus warning of any potential hindrances to safety.
Finally, top off the gas tank and make sure your tires can handle the winter roads and have sufficient pressure and tread depth. You might even think about purchasing a set of tires designed to grip the road better by way of winter-geared tread patterns and depth.