Preparing your car for the winter weather will depend on your climate. In areas where your winters are harsh, with frequent ice and snow storms, preparing your car and yourself for emergencies can help keep you safe.
Swap Out Your Tires
Even if your current tires are in good condition, it is beneficial to have dedicated tires for the winter, especially if you receive significant amounts of frozen precipitation. Since your winter tires may be new or used infrequently, the treads will gain better traction on the ice and snow. Additionally, you should consider investing in all-weather tires, which can give you the best combination of performance in different types of precipitation and road conditions. Although some people choose to switch to snow tires when snow is in the forecast, they do not work well for all types of road conditions you may encounter.
Consider Rim Changes
Although you may change your tires for the winter, there are times when changing the rims can be equally important. When you live in an area with harsh winters, it can be advantageous to have steel rims. The heavier metal can reduce instances of your car slipping on the ice. With improved traction due to the heavier weight of the rims, you may find driving through snow is a little easier. Steel rims are not ideal under normal driving conditions because the added weight on your vehicle comes lower gas mileage and less maneuverability. Once the winter is over, switching back to metal alloy rims will give you the best performance. To learn more about your wheel options, talk to a professional like those at Extreme Wheels.
Keep Emergency Supplies
No matter how winter-ready your car is, you will always need winter supplies available to help you if you become stuck. Snow chains are ideal to keep in the trunk since they can help you gain additional traction on the ice or if your tires become stuck in the snow. A small shovel or children's pail can be used to help dig out your tires and exhaust pipe if you become stuck. Even if you know you cannot dig your car out, work on exposing your car's exhaust system. If the exhaust is blocked, carbon monoxide can back up into your car while you're running the heat, trying to stay warm until help arrives. Many drivers have forgone the traditional roadside flare, but they can be invaluable to help someone find your car as the snow piles up, especially once the sun begins to set.
Winter conditions can put a strain on your vehicle and make driving difficult. Keeping supplies on-hand to prepare for the winter weather can help you minimize emergencies and stay safe.