Winter Driving Checklist

Does anyone remember what the average daily snowfall was last winter in Poughkeepsie? Whether you do or not, wouldn’t it be best to prepare for the worst? I mean, who wants to get stuck on the side of the road on one of the worst winter storm days Poughkeepsie has ever seen! The team at Foreign Car Specialists certainly doesn’t want to see any of our customers in trouble, so we’ve gathered some information about how you can avoid becoming a winter statistic. 

Did you know that when the weather gets cold, the air pressure in your tires drops? The main reason that could be a problem is that if your tires don’t have the right pressure, they won’t properly grip the road. You are much more likely to skid or slide if your air pressure isn’t right. Check your owner’s manual to see what’s right for your vehicle and carry around an air-pressure gauge so you can check it out before hitting the road. It’s also important to have your tires checked out for wear and tear, groove depth, and overall health. You may even want to consider putting on winter tires for the season as one additional safety precaution. 

As you prepare for winter driving, add these items to the list of things to check and/or alter:

  1. Check on your battery’s health.
  2. Change your oil to a winter-approved grade so that it doesn’t thicken and lose the ability to do its job.
  3. Switch your windshield wiper fluid to one specifically for the winter and have your wipers checked before not being able to see in a storm.
  4. Make sure your antifreeze-to-water ratio is at 50/50 to keep it from freezing up.
  5. Check your belts and hoses for wear and tear as well as to make sure they are not loose.

If you’ve ever been stranded on the side of the road, you’ll know how nice it would have been to be prepared for such an event. This holds even truer in the winter months. Take a bit of time to prepare a winter emergency kit before we have our first truly bad-weather day. Here are some suggestions of things to keep in your kit:

  1. An extra set of warm clothes and a warm blanket or two
  2. Winter boots and gloves
  3. A flashlight with extra batteries
  4. Nutritious snacks and a supply of any daily meds you take
  5. A deck of cards and a good book
  6. An ice scraper and a small shovel
  7. Sand or non-clumping cat litter to help you get traction
  8. A phone charger that doesn’t require being plugged in
  9. Extra wiper fluid
  10. Flares
  11. Jumper cables

These are a few things that are must-haves to help keep you safe and warm if you do end up stranded. But, please do go out and have a professional give your vehicle a thorough winter inspection to keep down the likelihood of you needing ours or anyone else’s services unexpectedly this winter. Foreign Car Specialists cares about you and keeping you safely on the road this upcoming winter and always. We would much rather see you for preventative maintenance than because you broke down on a cold winter’s day!

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