Now that December is here, many people are starting to make travel plans for the holiday season. It is always a good idea to get prepared ahead of time for road trips and never more so than in winter, so be sure that your vehicle is in top shape before you embark on your holiday travels. If you are not sure where to start, look no further – our Westbury Toyota experts have put together a short tip list to help you get ready.
You should always have a kit in your car that has everything you might need in case of emergency regardless of the season, but there are some things you absolutely need to add for winter. There is a good chance you will not need an emergency kit, but it is always better to be prepared. Emergency kits can be purchased, but you can also easily make your own. A winter emergency car kit should include the following:
These items can make all the difference in the event of an emergency during winter driving.
Every year a debate rages over the merits of snow tires and whether or not they are necessary. The truth is that they are a good choice for anyone who does a lot of driving during the winter, so if you are planning on clocking a lot of road time over Christmas and New Years it will be a good idea to switch to snow tires.
You might also consider purchasing tire chains for your vehicle, as they can greatly improve traction in deep snow and ice. These are not something you will use during regular driving and should only be used in times of emergency. Putting them on and pulling them off can be difficult to do so it is not a bad idea to familiarize yourself with the process beforehand.
Before setting out on your to and fro during the holidays, you should inspect your tires to ensure the tread isn’t too worn and that the pressure is at the recommended amount. Over- or under-inflated tires will not perform the way they should, and worn tread can compromise your vehicle’s traction in ice or snow.
It should go without saying that it is unwise to set out on a long drive in the middle of inclement weather, so be sure to check the weather forecast in the days leading up to your trip. If it looks like there is going to be an abundance of snowfall, freezing rain, or incredibly cold temperatures, you might want to consider postponing or cancelling all together.
Before you set out, check to make sure that your antifreeze/coolant/oil levels are where they should be. In addition, it is a good idea to make sure that your tail, brake, hazard, and signal lights are all functioning properly. If you want to be absolutely certain that your car is up for long winter drives, take it into a mechanic. They will double check everything and certify that it is winter road worthy.