Is Your Vehicle Winter-Ready?

Let’s face it – we are all in for a long winter. I like to think I am generally a very optimistic person with a good attitude but when it comes to winter, I often struggle to find its appeal, especially when it comes to driving in it. Just thinking about the drifts, blowing snow and icy roads (or worse yet, the icy roads you didn’t know where icy until it was too late), is stressful. Luckily, there are a lot of helpful tips and resources out there to help us prepare for these road conditions we are bound to encounter at some point these next few months.

Make sure your vehicle is in good working condition. This includes checking the:

  • Antifreeze level
  • Air pressure in your tires (Having good traction depends on your tires being properly inflated. This is especially important when big temperature changes occur.)
  • Windshield-wiper fluid level (Make sure you have plenty of extra on hand.)

Also, it is important to keep your gas tank close to full. This will help you avoid ice in the tank and in the fuel lines. For a full vehicle winterizing check list, click here.

Everyone who deals with Minnesota winters should have a winter storm survival kit in your car, located in an easy-to-reach place. We all hope to never utilize this kit but in case of an emergency, it can save your life. The Minnesota Safety Council recommends that your kit include the following things:

  • Jumper cables (Your car should always have these)
  • Sand (or cat litter) for tire traction
  • Ice scraper
  • Tool kit
  • Warm clothes: gloves, hat, boots, warm jacket and an extra set of warm clothes
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit including any of your necessary medications
  • High-calorie, non perishable food like energy bars, nuts and canned fruit
  • Compass (If you’re directionally impaired like myself, you should always have one of these on hand.)

Also, if you have a cell phone, always have it with you, as well as a car phone charger.

Even though there are days that some of us want to hibernate and not venture out into the blustery cold, it is important for everyone’s health to remain active. Making sure your vehicle is winter-ready will help to ensure the safety of you and your passengers. Prepare your vehicle today for a long Minnesota winter.