Is your car ready for a winter road trip? Winter can be brutal on a car. According to Automotive-Fleet.com, about 49.3 million people will hit the nation’s roadways this Thanksgiving as compared with 48.5 million in 2018, representing a 2.8% increase and the highest volume of travelers in 14 years. With inclement weather forecasted this holiday, we thought we’d share some tips on winterizing your vehicle, so you’re ultra-prepared for your Thanksgiving road trip!
Here are a few things you should do before you hit the road.
Tip #1 – Check Your Battery
In cold weather conditions, a car battery operates at lower efficiency, making it harder for it to start up the engine. You’ll need to make sure the cables are properly connected to the battery. Or take it in for a quick service check-up.
Tip #2 – Check Your Wipers & Wiper Fluids
You’ll need the best possible visibility when bad weather strikes. Make sure your wipers are working properly and your wiper washer fluid is filled to capacity. In cold weather states, you should consider using a fluid with de-icer capability.
Tip #3 – Check Your Anti-Freeze
You don’t need to open the cap on your radiator, just visually check to see whether the liquid reaches the “Full” line on the side of the coolant reservoir. If the liquid doesn’t reach the “Full” line, you should add a 50/50 mix of water and coolant until it does. Never touch the radiator cap when the engine is on or has been running for a while, it will be too hot to touch.
Tip #4 – Check The Oil Level
It’s really important to make sure your car has the right amount of oil, especially during the winter. If you have time, have your car serviced and oil changed before a long road trip.
Tip #5 – Clean Headlight Covers
Long nights and heavy weather conditions can reduce visibility on the road. The goal is to make sure that you can see what’s ahead of you as possible. You’ll want to check your headlight covers to make sure they are not cloudy or foggy.
Tip #6 – Check Your Tires
With shallow tread depth, you won’t get the proper traction in bad weather conditions, it’s one of the reasons to check your tread depth in the winter. You’ll also want to check your tire pressure often, especially when temperatures drop, as tire pressure will go down 1 pound per square inch. You can check your car owner’s manual for the recommended tire pressure. You should also make sure your spare tire is properly aired up too.
Tip #7 – Pack an Emergency Kit
Even with the best planning, vehicles can still break down, that’s why it’s important to always have an emergency kit in your car. Things to include: jumper cables, a small air compressor to air up tires, road flares, a flashlight, spare batteries, an ice scraper, a collapsible shovel, a lock de-icer, a cell phone charger, hand-warmers, a blanket, water, protein bars, and a first aid kit.
Tip #8 – Have An Emergency Plan
Be prepared in the event you have a car breakdown or accident. If you have a smartphone, be sure to bookmark www.honkforhelp.com so you can quickly request roadside assistance services such as a tow, tire change, jump start, lockout, or winch service. In most areas a professional HONK Service Provider should arrive in 30 minutes or less, reducing your stress levels and getting you back on the road in no time. One final tip is to review your insurance policy before you hit the road. Some top insurance carriers provide roadside assistance coverage included with their auto insurance policies, in those cases, all you need is to have their app on your phone so you request services from there.
To request roadside assistance while on the road, visit: www.honkforhelp.com