Want to protect yourself during the colder months? Try one of these three options:
Stay in your house until spring.
Get pulled around by sled dogs.
Read the following tips.
Start the new year with a tune-up
Whether you reside in the great white North or simply plan on visiting climates less temperate than your own, you might want to winterize your vehicle. This can include changing your oil to a light grade (if recommended by your car's manufacturer); replacing burned-out lights; ensuring that your tire tread is a minimum of 1/16"; and investing in snow tires. If you expect to frequently drive on ice, tire chains can be a smart investment – but first make sure that local authorities permit them.
Taking action to increase traction
On slippery roads, four-wheel drive is your friend. If it's not an option, front-wheel-drive vehicles generally handle better than rear-wheel, since traction is improved by the weight of your engine.
In addition to clearing snow and ice from your windows, remember to also clear your headlights, taillights and brake lights.
Keep your gas tank at least half full to prevent fuel-line freeze-up.
Keeping a safe distance
When hitting the brakes on snowy or icy roads, it can take nine times as far to reach a complete stop.
Be particularly careful on bridges. Since they can be 5 to 6 degrees colder than roadways, they tend to freeze first.
Stay with your vehicle while warming it up. Otherwise, you might create a warm and inviting opportunity for cold-hearted auto theft.
Finally, keep some supplies in your vehicle in case you get stranded, such as blankets, an extra layer of clothing, weatherproof boots and a working flashlight. If you need to walk to a service station or wait for a tow, you'll be glad you planned ahead.