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Preparing Your Car for Winter

29 Jan

A Few Tips to Keep you Moving Along

I live in the north. That doesn’t make me an expert by any means when it comes to driving in the snow. But, I do know a thing or two about driving safety in the snow. Even with my knowledge occasional loss of vehicle control occurs. Just last week, I lost traction and slid into a farmers field. Yet, sliding into the field was a choice I made in the moment I lost control. It was either slide left into a creek or slide right into a field. I chose the field and steered into it.

Tips for Driving in Winter Weather

Fortunately, I was driving a 4 WD, and I quickly switched over to it, and drove myself right out of the field. Currently in the states, snow, ice and extremely cold temperatures are shrouding much of the country. Many people have found themselves stuck in the cold with little if anything to keep them warm. This is especially true in the south where they aren’t used to getting such weather.

I wanted to share with you some tips for keeping warm, driving safe and

Tips for Preparing Your Car

  • Make sure your car is in good working order, check fluids, change oil, keep the window washer fluid filled.
  • Try to maintain a full tank of gas, or close to full. The lower the level in your gas tank the more likely it will freeze.
  • If possible add snow tires to your car.
  • If it’s not possible, buy chains to fit the circumference of your tire, with a chain hook to use for traction in the event of snow or ice.
  • Add weight to the back end of your car, sand bags or cat litter are preferred in the north. This serves 2 purposes. 1. The added weight helps with traction. 2. If you do find your tires to be stuck and spinning, you can pour either the sand or litter just in front of or behind the tire to get a little traction. (Every little bit of traction helps).
  • Keep emergency supplies in your vehicle, including a first aid kit, reflectors and flairs. Keep extra fluids like oil, wiper fluid, antifreeze and perhaps even a 5 gal. tank of gas.
  • Add blankets to your car. 1 blanket per person. If you have a family of 5, keep five blankets in your car. A few extra pairs of gloves and/or socks would be beneficial too.
  • Keep bottled water in your vehicle. Yes, it may freeze, but you can melt it with your heater.
  • Keep snack bars, breakfast bars, nuts, raisins, or cereal in an emergency container.

Tips for Driving

  • If you find yourself in winter weather conditions while driving, don’t drive too fast. No matter how seasoned a driver you are, black ice or slushy road conditions can cause slippage.
  • When stopping, tap your breaks instead of full pressure. Ease off the gas and let your car slow down tapping your breaks.
  • If you begin to slide, tap your breaks, don’t jerk the wheel, steer into the slide if at all possible, or gently steer away from the slide if your sliding to someplace unsafe. Like I did by steering into a field.
  • If you find you are stuck behind another vehicle, they are stuck and you are not. First be neighborly and see if you can help. If their car simply won’t move offer them a ride. Try downshifting and move slowly around their vehicle.
  • If you are on the freeway, get off of it. Major streets through the city are your better choice even if it’s slow. Streets leading to emergency services are usually cleared first.
  • If you find you are stuck, spinning and can’t move forward.
  1. Don’t gun the gas. Give it a slow steady press.
  2. If you have 4 wheel drive. Use it.
  3. If you don’t have 4 WD try 2nd gear, or even 1st gear. Often the lower gear will get you moving.
  4. Try reverse. Sometimes you can get a little traction in reverse. Just enough to get you moving, turn the wheel away from where you were stuck and try to go forward.
  5. If you have them and need them, use the chains, sand or litter.

If You are Truly Stuck

  • Turn on your emergency lights.
  • If possible call for help.
  • Get your blankets and emergency supplies to the front of the vehicle as quickly as possible. Use them.
  • Set out reflectors, and use flairs if you have them.
  • When the car is on, crack a window slightly to allow air circulation and prevent CM poisoning. Turn your car off, to preserve gas, and turn on occassionally to warm the car again.
  • If you must leave your vehicle. Cover as much exposed skin as possible.
  • Carry water with you. Know where you are going,
  • Have a plan take the shortest route possible.  

The cold winter weather is not something to be taken lightly. Weather it’s cold temperatures, snow or ice, if there are meteorologists reporting that a winter weather advisory is in effect in your area, the best thing you can do is stay in.

So if you find you are stuck inside and must shelter in place you can read this post which was posted In December prepare your home for winter weather.

~This post written by team member Renee Brown.

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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Encouragement, Family, Home

 

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