Proper Vehicle Maintenance Helps Peak Winter Safety Performance

More than 70 percent of motorists admit that they do not have their cars winterized in preparation for inclement weather, according to a survey conducted by the Car Care Council. This can prove extremely dangerous if your car breaks down due to a lack of preventative maintenance.

Properly maintaining your vehicle will not only ensure its safety and dependability, but it may also increase fuel efficiency as well as help maintain your vehicle’s value. It is recommended to consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual and follow its preventive vehicle maintenance schedule. 

Road conditions can become very hazardous during winter weather. Roads can become wet, snowy, slushy, and icy. Each year, one-fourth of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on snowy, slushy, or icy pavement. In 2020, there were 374 fatal crashes and an estimated 25,000 injury crashes that occurred in wintry conditions. 

There are a number of helpful tips to get your car ready for winter that will help ensure peak safety performance. Here is a compilation of ideas to keep in mind as winter weather is fast approaching:
  • Have your car’s battery, coolant levels, cooling system, brakes, belts, hoses, spark plugs, and cables checked before harsh winter weather arrives.
  • In areas that experience intense winter weather, consider switching to winter tires.
  • Check tire tread and replace tires if necessary.
  • If driving in mountains or similar terrain, carry tire chains in vehicle.
  • Regularly check tire pressure as temperatures tumble.
  • Install rubber windshield wipers.
  • Keep washer fluid level full.
  • Pack a winter safety kit, which can include jumper cables, non-perishable food items, water, ice scraper, snow shovel, first aid kit, flashlight, blankets, and warm clothes.
  • Keep gas tank at least half full.
  • Make sure rear window defroster is working properly.
  • Winter driving requires lights to be used more often. Make sure to replace any burned out bulbs promptly.
  • Make sure your cell phone is fully charged as much as possible.