Prepare your vehicle for Winter driving, using this checklist:

  • Check windshield wiper blades to make sure they work property.
  • Have your mechanic test the anti-freeze/coolant to provide the correct level of protection, required in your driving area.
  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Under-inflation can reduce the gripping action of tires because the tread will not meet the road surface as it was designed to do. Over-Inflation has the same effect.
  • Don’t depend on all season tires. Install snow tires, which have a unique tread design that provides better traction and gripping abilities.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full. The extra volume can help reduce moisture problems within your fuel system, and it adds weight to your vehicle. Extra weight in your trunk may also be helpful.

Before you leave your driveway, scrape the ice/snow from every window and the side mirrors. Don’t just clear a small patch on the windshield. Don’t forget to remove snow from your headlights and your brake lights.

To make sure other drivers see you, always drive with your lights on. Keep both hands on the wheel.

Keep your vehicle stocked with simple emergency equipment in case you do get stalled or have an accident. Consider keeping these items in your vehicle:

  • Blanket or extra clothes
  • Candle with matches
  • Snacks
  • Beverages (never alcohol)
  • Flares
  • CB Radio, Cell phone or ham radio
  • Small shovel
  • Flashlight w/extra batteries
  • Windshield scraping device
  • Tow rope
  • Bag of sand or cat litter for traction
  • Long jumper cables

If you do run into trouble, run the engine only briefly to run the heater, not continuously. Carbon monoxide can accumulate more easily in a non-moving vehicle.