Car safety is important, especially during the winter season when fog, rain, ice and snow can cause a variety of hazardous driving conditions.
Before the winter weather turns frightful, make sure your vehicle can brave the harsh elements. Now is the time to get your car in tip-top shape and road ready.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, bad weather contributes to nearly half a million crashes and more than two thousand road deaths every winter.
Here are some tips to help prepare your car for winter and make driving much easier and safer.
- CHECK YOUR FLUIDS—Although this should be part of your regular vehicle maintenance, it’s also a good idea to check/top off or change the oil, brake, antifreeze, power steering, and transmission fluids.
BRAKE IT DOWN—Make sure your rotors aren’t warped or cracked. Also check your brake pads. Are they almost worn? If so, don’t wait to get them checked. Do it now. Remember: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
- LIGHTS—One of the most overlooked repairs on cars are the lights. Make sure your headlights, brake lights, and turn signals are fully functional. Light bulbs are fairly inexpensive and are easy to install or they can be installed at your automotive service dealer.
- SLOW YOUR ROLL—Nothing will give you more peace of mind while driving on slick winter roads than having good quality tires on your vehicle. You can buy winter/all-season tires for extra traction or if your tires are in good condition, simply check the air pressure by using a tire gauge which can be purchased at any auto parts store. Check your vehicle owner’s manual for the recommended pressure level and fill them accordingly. Gas stations also usually offer free tire air fill-ups. You may want to bring snow chains with you if there is a chance of encountering snowy or icy road conditions.
- CHANGE YOUR WIPER BLADES– The sizzling summer sun can wreak havoc on wiper blades and cause them to split and crack. It’s a good idea to replace your wiper blades regularly for optimal performance.
- GET A VEHICLE SAFETY KIT–Most auto parts and hardware stores have winter emergency safety kits. They usually contain jumper cables, orange cones, emergency blankets, bungee cord/zip ties, gloves, a small scraper, a multi-tool, cloths, flares and more.
Remember, it’s important to keep your car in excellent condition year-round. But, if you aren’t a do-it-yourself-type of person, take your vehicle to a trusted and licensed auto mechanic to have it fully inspected. To check the license of an auto repair shop/dealer, log on to the Bureau of Automotive Repair’s website at www.bar.ca.gov.