5 ways to winterize your car before a winter road trip
By Aimee Heckel
If you’re planning to hit the road this winter, make sure your car is packed and prepared, too.
Here are five ways to winterize your car before a winter road trip:
1. Pack an emergency kit in the trunk. This box should include oil, coolant, washer fluid, a spare tire, tools, a flashlight, flares, an extra coat, blanket, gloves, boots, water, snacks, salt (to help with traction if you get stuck) and any medical supplies you may need if you end up stuck in a snow drift. It’s always good to have a First Aid kit in your car year-round, too.
Pick up a car emergency kit at Walmart. Here, you can find a wide selection to meet your needs, like the Orion Safety Products Deluxe Roadside Emergency Kit for just under $40. This kit has it all — 79 pieces in total — from emergency lighting to gloves to jumper cables.
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2. Replace your windshield wipers and top off your wiper fluid. Experts advice you replace your wipers every six to 12 months.
You can get new windshield wipers at Walmart, too, for just $10.
3. Check your car to make sure everything is functioning properly. This includes belts, hoses, heating units, defrost and your battery.
4. Consider your tires. Do you need new tires? Get them now. You may consider getting snow tires, if you will be traveling to a colder part of the country. Also make sure your tire pressure is appropriate to assure the best traction.
5. Make sure your liquids are all in order. Switch your oil. If your car will be traveling through below-freezing weather, experts recommend using thinner oil. Consult an expert and your owner’s manuel to determine the right type.
In addition, always keep your tank on full in inclement weather, and make sure your car has the proper amount of antifreeze.
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