4 Ways to Prepare Your Car For Winter
You can guarantee two things will happen this winter here in northern Michigan, low temperatures and a whole lot of snow. On average, Traverse City receives about 9 feet of snow each year, and during the winter months, the average temperature is in the 20s. A combination of snow and cold weather can have damaging effects on your car. However, there are a few different things you can do to help prepare your car for winter.
What You Can Do
A lot of people who live in northern Michigan often opt to get new snow tires when the snow starts falling. Snow tires are great for retaining traction while driving in slippery conditions. Although snow tires do come at a premium compared to all-season or just regular tires, they will provide you with the most benefits.
Another important note, make sure the air pressure in your tires is where it’s supposed to be, typically 30-35 PSI. Over-inflated tires can pop while driving, and under-inflated tires tend to go flat sitting in the cold for long periods of time. Consult with the owner’s manual in your car to see where your tire pressure should be set.
Having the right amount of each fluid is crucial for driving in the winter. Make sure to get an oil change. It is typically recommended to change a car’s oil every 3,000 miles or six months, and although that doesn’t necessarily apply anymore, it is important however to get an oil change before the winter starts, and the cold weather starts affecting your car.
Coolant is extremely important this time of year. Making sure that you have the proper mix of anti-freeze and water is critical so that it does not freeze in your radiator. You can pick up a tester at an auto parts store if you like to do it yourself, or simply stop by your local mechanic.
Finally, wiper fluid. This is often overlooked but is important nonetheless. Wiper fluid should be switched over to a freeze-resistant fluid to keep your windshield and vision clear. Additionally, replaces your wiper blades before the snow starts is never a bad idea.
Test Your Battery
Making sure your battery will continue to work all winter is one of the first steps you should take to help prepare your car for winter. The low temperatures will contribute to shortening a car battery’s life. Often, waiting until the deep-freeze of winter to replace your battery will be too late. There’s no need to buy a new one, simply go to your local auto shop and make sure that it has enough juice to last through the winter.
Carry a Winter Supply Box
Carrying a winter supply box is a precautionary measure that everybody should take. If you are in an accident and are stranded or have to remain outside of your car for even a period of time, you’ll want to have the necessities. Here’s what you should include.
- Jumper cables
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- A jack and lug wrench (tire iron)
- Basic tool kit
- Road flares
- Hats, gloves, and scarves
There are some extras you should consider carrying as well like, a knife, fire extinguisher, water and snacks, cell phone charger, a candle in an aluminum can, lighter/matches, and even kitty litter in case you’re stuck.
Have the Proper Insurance
A final note, make sure you have the proper car insurance this winter. If you’re unsure about your current coverage, or if you are curious if you are paying to much, contact the team at Johnson and Associates Insurance. We are an independent Traverse City insurance agency with years of experience and knowledge. If you are unfortunately in an accident this winter, you shouldn’t have to worry about your insurance coverage. Let us take care of you, so you have one less thing to worry about this winter.
Call Johnson and Associates Insurance today, the top choice for car insurance in Traverse City.