Winter Driving Safety Checklist
Check out these tips to help keep you and your car in the best shape possible this winter!
Check your antifreeze:
- Make sure your antifreeze reservoir is full. This chemical makes the freezing point of your vehicle much lower, and will help protect your radiator from freezing during the long, cold winter nights. To check the antifreeze level, you can open the radiator cap or check the ‘full’ line on the side of the reservoir. The ideal mixture of coolant and water inside your vehicle’s radiator is a 50/50 ratio. If your coolant ratio isn’t at the recommended 50/50 mixture, it can cause the coolant to freeze , resulting in vehicle performance problems.
Check Battery and Cables:
- Make sure your car’s battery and cables are securely attached and free of corrosion. Car batteries should be inspected at least every two years to ensure you don’t end up having to jump start your car in below freezing temperatures. Make sure headlights/headlamps, tail-lights, passenger lights, and phone chargers are all turned off before exiting your vehicle. Check all interior and exterior lighting is working properly to be sure you’re easily seen on the roadways.
Test Defroster/Heat and Wipers:
- Check heaters and defrosters to ensure they’re in good working condition. Both front and rear defrosters are needed to make sure all fog and crystallized ice can melt away. Visibility in winter conditions is a MUST for safe driving.
- Check your wiper blades to make sure they’re not cracked, torn or leaving streaks across your windshield. As a general rule, wiper blades should be replaced every 6 months. For visibility safety, carry at least one full jug of anti-freeze windshield wiper solvent in the trunk – it goes more quickly than many motorists anticipate.
Check Tire Pressure and Tread:
- Check your tire pressure often. Cold weather contracts the air in your tires, lowering the tire pressure, which makes for dangerous driving on slick roads. Use the penny test to check treads — Place a penny (head first) into several of the tread grooves across your tires. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, your tread is shallow and it’s likely your tires need to be replaced. If Lincoln’s forehead is covered by the tread, you probably don’t need new tires.
Create a Emergency Kit:
- Your vehicle’s trunk should contain the following: jumper cables, a flashlight, blankets, extra clothes, bottled water, nonperishable food (energy bars are a great choice) and a first aid kit. Be prepared for the cold weather to come, you never know when a breakdown could happen.
Keep Your Gas Tank Half Full:
- Frozen condensation builds up in your gas lines, and will keep your car from starting. The best way to avoid this is to keep your fuel levels at least half full in the winter.
Brakes Plus® offers various free inspection services to make sure your vehicle is ready for winter. Call or schedule your appointment online today and be sure to check out our online coupons for ultimate Brakes Plus® savings.