1. Check your tire pressure and consider snow tires. Wet or icy roads can cause dangerous conditions in the winter so make sure your tires are equipped to handle adverse weather conditions.
2. Check your battery. Winter months are tough on your engine and cause it to work harder, this puts more pressure on the battery.
3. Check your oil. Oil lubricates the metal surfaces of your engine and stops them from grinding together and causing a lot of damage.
4. Check the antifreeze. Antifreeze protects your engine from freezing in the cold and cuts back on corrosion.
5. Keep your fuel tank full. Cold and constantly shifting temperatures can cause condensation to form on the walls of a gas tank and soon water will drip down and into the gas. If water finds its way into the fuel lines, it will freeze up blocking any flow of gas to the engine.
6. Check your defrosting and heating units. When windshields fog up in the winter, it’s because moisture from inside the car condenses on the glass making it very difficult to see. Defrosters solve this problem by blowing warm, dry air over the glass.
7. Replace windshield wipers and wiper fluid. Low visibility can make driving in cold weather extremely dangerous, so it’s important to make sure the wiper blades are up to par and your fluid is full.
8. Check your car’s belts and hoses. Cold temperatures can weaken belts and hoses and if something snaps or breaks while you are out on the road, a tow truck will be the only way to get moving again.
9. Make sure your 4-wheel drive works. A functioning system can improve tire traction on snow and ice, decreasing the possibility of getting stuck. Remember, having a 4WD system does not mean you can drive faster than you normally would but it can improve your traction.
10. Keep an emergency kit inside your car. The simplest things can make a huge difference in cold weather. A few things to consider: spare tire, washer fluid, antifreeze, ice scraper, flashlights, warm blankets, gloves and boots.