It’s an unfortunate fact that many folks across the nation will have to drive in the snow. And some of them will have to do it for a good portion of the year, sometimes in blizzard like conditions or with near zero visibility. Regardless of whether you live in an area where you may rarely if ever have to drive in it or it is quite commonplace, there are things you have to do to ensure that you are adequately prepared for this – face it – dangerous and unnerving task.
Make sure that you have winter tires. Yes, we know there are those of you who are going to say “but I have ABS and all these fancy braking systems”. Well, hey good for you, but you still need tires that are specifically made to maneuver as safely as possible. And no, we’re not talking all terrain tires here but the real deal themselves…snow tires. And make sure you measure the pressure level at least every two weeks.
Have your car thoroughly checked and serviced before the snow kicks in. Trust us on this one. It is a world of difference between getting stranded on a clear day when the weather is great and getting trapped in sometimes blinding snow, possibly in blizzard conditions. Sure, it will cost you but hey, it goes with the territory when you live in these parts. Find a good, reputable and qualified mechanic that you can deal with on a regular basis.
In addition to the no-brainer suggestion of checking your battery before heading off into the snow, make sure that your charging system is up to par as well. You will want a battery that has a high Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) rating.
Have the proper ratio of coolant to water in your antifreeze. The recommended rule of thumb is 50 percent water and 50 percent coolant. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that 100 percent coolant is better, it’s not. The coolant/water mix has a much lower freezing point.
And do make sure that your gas tank is as close to full as possible before driving in snow. Now, we don’t really have to go into the reasons for this, do we? Next, make sure you have a well and completely stocked rescue kit with you. In other words, you want it to resemble a winter survival kit.
And please, do not be one of those people who forget snow chains. In a great many places in the country you plain and simple are not going to be allowed to drive unless you have them on your tires. Or if you come upon a checkpoint and the authorities discover you do not have any to put on you will not be allowed to go any further.
Of course, the best thing of all is to avoid driving in the snow period. But we understand that some folks – to a certain extent – have to go out in it. Follow the guidelines listed above and you will greatly reduce your chances of encountering problems.Read More →