Five Ways to Get Your Car Ready for Winter Weather

SUV driving in the snow

Driving through winter precipitation in and around the Hudson Valley can be a dangerous proposition. The dreaded “winter mix” and black ice can make roads into ice skating rinks, and powerful cold snaps can take a toll on engine function. Plan ahead for the worst winter weather by preparing your car now to be up to the challenges winter roads can bring, and lower the chances of being involved in an accident this season.

  1. Make sure your tires are up to the job: Tires with worn tread can make it difficult to gain traction on already-slippery roads. Make sure that your tires have sufficient tread and are fully inflated, and consider heavier-duty snow tires if you plan to be driving in areas that aren’t regularly plowed or which receive more snowfall.
  2. Replace old windshield wipers: If you haven’t had occasion to use them, you may not realize that your wipers are cracked. Experts recommend replacing wiper blades every six months. You should also switch to a winter wiper fluid, which will be less likely to freeze.
  3. Have your brakes inspected: When roads get slippery, you need to be able to trust that you can reliably bring your car to a stop in a hurry. Be sure to have your braking system fully inspected, and replace worn pads or leaking tubes. While you’re there, ask your mechanic if you should transition to winter-weight motor oil, as well. If you’ve been putting off any other repairs, now is the time to address them. Cold weather will amplify any existing issues, and no one wants to break down on a sub-zero winter night.
  4. Ensure that your heater is in good working order: It may have been a while since you’ve used your car’s heating system. Test that your cabin heater and window defrosters are in good working order, and top off your car’s radiator fluid.
  5. Create an emergency kit: In the event that you do end up stranded on the side of the road for a time, make sure that you’ll be safe and prepared. Gather some nonperishable food items, instant-heating hand warmers, a backup battery charger for your phone, flares, a flashlight, and extra fluids your car may need, such as antifreeze or motor oil.

If you or someone you love has been hurt in a winter weather car accident, contact the experienced and compassionate Kingston personal injury attorneys at Basch & Keegan for a free consultation on your claims, at (845) 251-4545.

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