A little preparation will take you far when it comes to winter driving.
Simple steps like checking a car’s battery, antifreeze, belts, and hoses can ward off sitting in a cold car and trying without success to get the engine to turn over, Eldon Kaiser, service manager at Midway Motors in Hillsboro, said.
Kaiser said the condition and tread depth of tires need to be good to get traction while driving on snow. Brakes need to be in good shape as well.
Get any tune-ups needed to avoid being stranded in a car, Kaiser advised.
“When we do an oil change, we look it over,” he said.
Barry Allen, owner of Webster Auto Service in Marion, said most people get their antifreeze checked when they have their car serviced, but if that hasn’t been done for a while, it’s time to do it.
He also recommends changing wiper blades and filling the windshield wiper fluid reservoir with a deicer formula for winter.
“Check all fluid levels,” Allen said.
Temperature drops mean tire pressure drops as well, Allen said. Make sure tires are properly inflated.
“It’s always a good idea to make sure the tires in your vehicle have sufficient tread,” Allen said.
He also said to make sure the car’s windshield defroster is working. He once had to check why a car’s air circulation system didn’t blow air through the defroster vents. It turned out the hoses were hooked up incorrectly.
Drivers who keep up on all maintenance should do well in the winter, he said.
“It does prevent a lot of issues,” Allen said.
Both men encourage drivers to be prepared in case an emergency arises on the road.
“It wouldn’t be a bad idea to have an emergency kit in the car,” Kaiser said.
“It’s always a good idea to have a blanket in the car,” Allen said.