Ten Tips To Get Your Car Prepared for Winter Weather

By Griff O'Hanlon, Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyer

Hampton Roads is finally feeling the freeze and the first major snow event of the year may be arriving over the weekend.

Over the next few days, there is likely to be a run on snow shovels and provisions in the store. It also should be a time to prepare your car as well as your home. Weather forecasts predict as much as two feet of snow in the Richmond area but considerably less in Hampton Roads.

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Some parts of Virginia and northeastern North Carolina have already seen the first snowfall a few days ago and more is likely over the next few weeks as a cold system moves in.

According to the Car Care Council, it’s time to give your vehicle a maintenance check. Just an hour or two to have your vehicle checked out is all it takes to have peace of mind and help avoid the expense, hassle and potential danger of a breakdown during snowy or icy weather.

“Many drivers overlook auto care this time of year, even with inclement weather in the forecast,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Driving in snow, especially in heavy snowfall or a blizzard, takes patience and preparation. A vehicle that is properly prepared for the elements can help you avoid an unplanned road emergency when the weather takes an unexpected turn for the worse.”

Here are some tips to winterize your car:

  1. Lights - Check to see that all of your car’s headlights and all exterior and interior lights work properly. Winter storms may cut down on visibility. It’s vital to be seen.
  2. Battery – Make sure that the battery and charging system is working properly. Frigid weather can cause a poorly performing battery to go flat.
  3. Tires - Check all of your tires. Examine the tire depth and tire pressure. If you live in an area that sees extensive freezing or heavy snowfall, you should consider using special tires that are designed to grip slick roads. You should check your tire pressure on a weekly basis during the winter months.
  4. Use Antifreeze – Make sure to flush out, clean and top up new antifreeze in the cooling system. This should be done at least every two years.
  5. Heaters and Wipers - Ensure your wipers, heaters and defrosters function properly. Consider using winter wiper blades and cold weather washer fluid. Your car’s blades should be replaced every six months.
  6. Oil – Have an oil change. Dirty oil can be problematic in cold weather. You should use “winter weight” oil if you live in a cold climate. Your mechanic should check fuel, air, and transmission filters at the same time as changing your oil.
  7. Brakes – Your car, truck or motorcycle’s braking system is crucial to safety. Problems with brakes can increase your stopping distance. It’s important to have brakes that work properly in ice and snow.
  8. Exhaust - The exhaust system should be checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially hazardous during cold weather driving when your windows are closed.
  9. Gas tank – Make sure to keep your gas tank, at least, half full at all times to decrease the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and freezing the line.
  10. First Aid - Keep an emergency kit in your car. It should include an ice scraper and brush, jumper cables, a blanket, flashlight, flares, bottled water, food and a first aid kit.

If you are injured in an accident ice, snow or other bad weather caused by the fault of another driver, you should call our Virginia automobile accident lawyers at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers for a free consultation at 757.455.0077.

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