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Winter Car Tips

It seems like every winter car tip list starts with this one. Check your tires!

The better the tread = the better the grip.
Take a look at the grooves in your tires and make sure that the tire has not worn down to the tire wear bars. If your tires are past this point, you should replace them.

Consider snow tires. If you have a rear wheel drive car, or a car with low profile high performance tires, snow tires should be installed on your car before winter. Rear wheel drive cars do not have much weight positioned over the rear of the car which means not much pressure on the rear wheels to keep them from skidding. Counter this problem by installing snow tires and by adding some weight to the trunk of your car.

High performance tires were designed to stick like glue to dry pavement. Their grip is not usually so good in bad conditions.

Consider rubber floor mats to protect your carpet.

Replace your windshield wipers at the end of every winter because ice, snow and cold temperatures can crack and tear the rubber blades on your wipers.

Check your washer fluid every time you fill up for gas. You may want to have a spare gallon of washer fluid in your trunk in case you run low.

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Pack an Emergency Kit

* Flashlight with spare batteries.

* Ice scraper / brush for clearing your windshield.

* Sand or gravel in case you get stuck in the snow and need to get some extra traction under your wheels.

* Jumper cables.

* A spare jacket, blanket and work gloves.

* If you don't have one yet, you may want to get a cell phone. Being able to call for help from your car is a big advantage over flagging down another car, or walking to get help. Make sure you have an automobile charger for your phone in your car at all times.

Drive Safely

* Whenever you park your car while it is snowing, raise your wipers off of the windshield of your car. This helps in two ways. First, the wiper blades won't freeze to your windshield. Second, you won't damage your wipers while clearing snow and ice off of your windshield.

Frozen Locks?

Try lock deicer , warm the key with a match or lighter, then try thawing your way into the frozen lock; or, try putting the key in as far as it will go, then burn a piece of twisted paper near the frozen lock and key.
When you lock the car, cover the locks with thin magnet strips. Remove them when you return for frost-free locks.


Replace an older battery before it gives you cold weather trouble. Remove it and take it into a warm house or garage at night when the temperature is expected to drop very low. Be careful where you leave it, batteries are filled with acid that can corrode surfaces. Battery contents are flammable; keep them away from flames and heat sources.

* In slippery conditions, your car will not be able to stop or turn as quickly as it would on dry pavement. Follow traffic at a greater distance than normal.

* Always be cautious when entering an intersection, as other traffic might not be able to stop for you and may skid into the intersection. The best plan is to take everything slowly and carefully. Preventing an accident is much easier to deal with than handling the results of an accident.
Here's a list of important items to bring:

* Copy of car warranty.
* Contact number for emergency car service.
* Map.
* Cell phone.
* Flashlight.
* Extra batteries for flashlight.
* First-aid kit.
* Spare tire, inflated to recommended tire pressure.
* Jumper cables.
* Road flares or triangles.
* Container for gasoline.
* Gloves.
* Basic tool kit.
* Blanket.
* Rain poncho.
* Windshield shade.
* Extra wiper fluid.
* Extra water for radiator.
* Bottled water to drink.
* Snacks that won't melt, such as protein bars, pretzels, raisins and sunflower seeds.
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