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Over the mountains and through the woods, off to Grandma’s house we go… Oh wait, did we remember to get our automobile road worthy for the winter? This is one of the last things many people think about as the winter season approaches. You need to do a few things to help ensure you get where you are going safely, or do not get stranded; but if you do, try to survive until help arrives. Items you should check or have checked on your car include: tires, brakes, shocks/struts, cooling system, lubricants, exhaust, and a basic tune-up. There are a few things you may want to keep in the car if you do get stuck or stranded on the road: some sort of high energy food, blankets, a first-aid kit, and most importantly WATER.
Winter Driving Checklist:
Tires: One of the most frequently forgotten items on our vehicle, are the tires. They need to have good tread and be less than five years old to be considered safe. Check your tire pressure, tires should be inflated to the pressure listed on the inside of the driver’s side door, not the max pressure listed on the tire.
Brakes: They play a very important role in not only your safety, but the safety of others. The pads and shoes need to be in serviceable condition as well as the brake hardware itself. Warped rotors can cause a wheel to lock up and dirty brake fluid can cause ABS systems to fail.
Shocks/Struts: These help keep the vehicle planted on the road on all four corners. This is an easy check. If your vehicle is bouncing like a basketball down the road or if you notice an oily film on the body of the shock, chances are they need to be replaced.
Cooling System: This is just as important in the winter as it is in summer. Have the anti-freeze tested and check the thermostat.
Exhaust: I can’t stress this enough, a leaking or bad exhaust system can kill you or your passengers!
Tune-up/Lubricants: A well tuned and lubricated car is less likely to present problems in the winter. They burn less fuel, run cleaner and start easier on those cold mornings.
Hope this helps, be safe!
Thank You, William Benefield VP of National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) at IntelliTec College in Colorado Springs.[boilerplate about-colo-springs]