Winter Preparation for Your Car

During the winter, we take extra precautions to protect ourselves from the cold weather with warmer clothes, a coat, a hat, and gloves. Your car also needs protection because in such conditions it is difficult for engines to work properly. Snow limits tire traction and salt causes rust and gravel pits on the exterior paint.

Here are some ways you can winterize your car before the temperature drops:

  1. Snow Tires– By placing snow tires on our car, you will increase traction and reduce your chances of slipping on slick surfaces.
  2. Check Tire Pressure– Your tire air pressure drops as the temperature gets colder since gases contract when they are cold. Properly inflated tires ensure the best possible connection between your vehicle and the road, especially in slick conditions.
  3. Check four-wheel drive system– Does your system engage and disengage properly? Check to make sure there aren’t any unusual noises when you start it. It is also good to check the gear oil levels and transmission before the temperature gets too cold.
  4. Change Oil in Engine and Check Viscosity Grade– Viscosity, or the thickness, of oil will change depending on temperature. The colder it is, the thicker it will be. Thick oil does not circulate through the engine as easily as thinner oil does during start-up. Reduce the risk of having problems with your engine oil by placing thinner oil in your engine.
  5. Have Belts and Hoses Inspected
  6. Inspect Wipers and Refill Wiper Fluid
  7. Check Car Battery– If your battery is more than three years old, have it tested. Extreme temperatures can cause your battery to operate at half its normal performance.
  8. Check Antifreeze Mixture– The ratio of antifreeze and water is ideally 50:50. If this mixture is off, your vehicle will not perform as well.
  9. Place a Roadside Emergency Supply Kit in your Car, some essentials are:
  • First-aid Kit
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Warning Light or Flares
  • Tire Gauge
  • Jack and Lug Wrench
  • Foam Tire Sealant
  • Spare Fuses
  • Jumper Cables
  • Flashlight
  • Pen and Paper
  • Windshield Scraper
  • Tire Chains and Tow Strap
  • Blanket and Winter Hat
  • Small, Folding Shovel
  • Bag of Cat Litter
  • Auto-club Card or Roadside Assistance Number
  • Disposable Camera
  • Gloves, Hand Cleaner, and Rags

Your safety is important to all of us at PDCM Insurance. Before snow begins to fall, consider taking these extra steps to preventing any accidents or mishaps with your vehicle. Also, let your agent at PDCM know if you place a vehicle back into storage, this will save you dollars off your premium.

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