Here in Minnesota every season presents its driving challenges from pot holes in the spring to summer long construction season. However , however. Here are a few things that could save you future headaches and make for safer travel:
Check Your Undercarriage
The under carriage of your car is rarely a thought until you hear scraping or other strange noises. A lot of cars sit low to the ground these days, and in the Winter the snow can get pretty thick here in Minnesota making your exhaust system susceptible to damage. Visually inspect you muffler and exhaust system to make sure it is secure, and not hanging low, and free of any debris.(grass, cardboard, etc..) Check for any leaks or drips and make note where you spotted them.
Have Your Battery Checked
Your battery is likely the most accessible auto component that people pay attention to until that bitter cold morning when your running late for work. As temperatures drop, so do the chances of your car starting. Its true some batteries are better then others, however All batteries lose the ability to hold a charge over time, and that’s why getting your battery tested now could save you time and headaches this winter.
Even new batteries may struggle starting in extreme cold conditions consider buying a portable power/starter pack to avoid having to rely on someone else for a jump start.
Get Your Tires Checked
Your tires, and front end are one the biggest factors of safely navigating the roads through the ice, snow and rain this Winter, therefore checking the tread is very important. First look at the tires and make sure the tire has even wear(outside to inside). If you seen uneven wear you may need an alignment, or other front end work.Check the tread using a penny by, holding the penny head side up in your hand, and inserting head side down in the tread, if you can see the top of Lincolns head you need new tires.Verify that you have proper tire pressure in all 4 tires. Dropping temperatures drop air pressure at an average rate of 1-2lb’s per 10degrees. Air gauges can be found at your local auto part store.
Winter Emergency Road Side Kit
No one ever thinks they are going to break down, let alone in a deserted area until it happens. Take it from a person who was born in the Appalachian mountains it happens, and when it does you could be there for quite some time. Please consider assembling yourself a survival kit with some or all of the suggested items:
- Hand Warmers
- First-Aid kit
- Ice scraper
- Road Flares
- Extra socks
- Tow Rope
- Portable Jump Start Pack
Remember to allow yourself extra time to get to your destination, and allow extra space between vehicles in wet or slippery conditions.