HOUSTON, Texas (KIAH) – Colder days are ahead as we approach the winter months. Rather than waiting until the last minute, you should start the process of winterizing your car now! As a side note: A lot of the gadgets listed below can also double as great USEFUL gifts for new and experienced drivers alike.
TIP 1: You battery power will slow as the temperatures drop, keep a pair of jumper cables in the back of your vehicle.
Gift Idea! If you do not own a pair of jumping cables yet, think about purchasing a jump pack/ jump starter instead! What is the difference? With a jump pack you do not need to connect to the battery of another car to get yours going again. It is a way to be self-reliant and get back on the road in a hurry without having to wait for help. They are a bit pricier than your average cables, but they hold many more benefits. Other benefits include: anti-spark protection, light weight, easy to use, and most come with a built in flashlight for those cold, dark winter nights.
TIP 2: Although it may not happen often, our roads can become slick with ice from time to time. It is not a bad idea to get your brakes inspected so that they are working properly all winter long.
TIP 3: Know your liquids, fill them up! From water to anti-freeze, coolant, oil, and transmission… each of these fluids should be at their appropriate levels year-round, but even more so in the winter to avoid any mishaps that could have you on the side of an icy road for hours on end. Ask your service provider what antifreeze is best for your vehicle to prevent any corrosion or ice formation.
The rainbow under the hood | Colors of car fluids
Clear- air conditioning
Clear (and oily) – power steering
Tip 4: Maintain your tire pressure. We know all too well how prone our tire to becoming “flatter” when the temperatures drop.
Wanting to know the science behind it?
For every 10-degree temperature drop, could mean a loss of 1 PSI (pounds per square inch) in your tires. You should refill, but never OVERFILL, your tires as needed based on the ambient temperature.
What is the normal PSI for your vehicle? Here is a quick cheat-sheet.
Average car- 32 PSI
Sports vehicles- 35 PSI
Trucks- 35 to 42 PSI
Gift idea! A portable air compressor will allow you to fill up a deflated tire anywhere! This way if your holiday commute takes you through a stretch of interstate with no gas station in sight, you can still get your tire fixed!
TIP 5: Keep a winter safety kit in the trunk! To avoid a holiday nightmare. This should include a flashlight and batteries, an ice scrapper, non-perishable food such as granola bars for everyone in the family, bottled water, a first aid kid in case of an accident, flares, matches, and an extra layer of warm clothes.