Winter preparedness for your vehicles

Date: December 9, 2017

The winter season can be detrimental to your vehicles, so it's important for drivers to prepare well in advance of the harshest conditions.
Here are five ways to make sure your car is ready to withstand cold weather for a safe driving experience:

Check tire tread and monitor tire pressure
A tire is only as good as its tread and pressure.  Proper tire tread is essential during winter weather. The change in temperature changes your tire pressure.  Proper tire pressure is critical for getting the best grip with the roadway. Tire pressure is measured by pounds per square inch (PSI). If uncertain about what level of PSI your tire should be, the proper inflation level can typically be found inside the driver's door jam.  

Test your battery
Battery capacity decreases significantly in cold weather, so it's important to have a mechanic examine it to ensure your battery is at peak performance. Keep jumper cables handy, not only should your car break down, but in case you need to help another motorist in need of a jump start.

Check your windshield for cracks and make sure wiper blades are in working order

  • Repair any cracks in your windshield, as they are likely to worsen in cold temperatures.
  • Replace wiper blades to ensure they can handle the various elements and keep the windshield clear. 
  • Use a washer fluid that's rated for subfreezing temperatures.

Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle

It's always best to be prepared in case of an emergency.  Below, everything you need in your car to help keep you safe in winter driving conditions:

  • blanket
  • ice scraper
  • flashlight
  • windshield washer fluid
  • flares
  • jumper cables
  • spare tire with air in it
  • tire-changing equipment
  • first-aid kit
  • paper towels
  • bag of abrasive material such as sand, salt or non-clumping kitty litter, which can provide additional traction if a tire gets stuck in snow
  • car cell phone charger

Keep your gas tank as full as you can to prevent the gas lines from freezing.

If you have any questions or concerns about winter driving, please contact the Ferguson Township Police Department