Living in the midwest, it’s no surprise to us when it gets cold in Winter and snows. But, currently we are experiencing extremely cold temperatures and more snow and ice than the past few years.
Follow these important tips from amfam.com to keep your car, and your passengers, protected during inclement winter weather.
1. Keep your gas tank at least half full to reduce condensation buildup that can lead to gas line freezing.
2. Charge your battery. To start your engine in cold weather, you’ll need your battery to be in good condition and fully charged.
3. Check your brakes Have a professional inspect your brakes to make sure they work properly and apply smoothly. Properly functioning brakes can prevent wheels from locking on slick surfaces.
4. Change worn windshield wipers and fill your washer reservoir with a winter solvent that won’t freeze.
5. Keep tires inflated Under-inflated tires can be dangerous. And the air pressure in your tires will decrease 1-2 psi for every 10-degree drop in outside temperature.
6. Drive slowly When roads are wet or covered with snow, accelerating, stopping and turning take longer. By driving more slowly, you’ll have more time to maneuver.
7. Increase your following distance On dry pavement, your normal following distance should be about three to four seconds. But on wet or snowy roads, you’ll want to increase this time to 8-10 seconds.
8. Have an emergency kit in your car.
- Blanket, warm gloves and winter hat – If you run out of fuel or if your battery dies, your vehicle won’t be able to provide heat. A blanket and hat can help keep you warm if you have to wait for help in cold conditions.
- Chemical hand warmers – These small, inexpensive packets are available at sporting-goods stores and provide instant heat.
- Small folding shovel – If you get stuck in snow, this can help clear snow away from your car’s tires.
- Windshield scraper – Keep this handy at all times to remove ice buildup from your car’s windows. A long-handle brush is also helpful to remove snow.
- Cat litter – Spread under your tires, this substance can help provide traction on slick road surfaces.
One more important tip – keep your eyes on the road and distractions at a minimum. Even if you are being careful, others around you may be driving unsafely and you need to be on high alert to react. NO TEXTING while driving, please. (Sending a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road an average of 4.6 seconds).
If you do have an accident, please contact us and call a claims specialist immediately at 1-800-MYAMFAM.