Are You Traveling This Holiday Season?

4. December, 2014


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The holiday season is here and with that many people will be travelling. If you are one of the “many” there are some things to consider before beginning your journey to wherever it may be. Do you have a road emergency kit? If not you may want to consider purchasing one to have in your vehicle this holiday season. There are so many choices here, options to fit almost any budget. An emergency kit is available at any parts store, or just google it and you will be overwhelmed with choices. An emergency kit is a good idea for anytime you are travelling, but with the issues we encounter in winter it is essential. Not a bad idea for a gift either…

Other considerations for winter holiday travel include:

Tune-up ~ If your vehicle is due for a tune-up, have it done. Cold weather and winter driving conditions are demanding to say the least. Existing problems are magnified, a current tune-up will help to reduce unwanted surprises.

Battery ~ Cold temperatures can leave you stranded if you have a weak battery. Have your battery and charging system checked for proper operation.

Cooling System ~ Antifreeze. Enough said? This is a huge item for winter maintenance. It goes beyond just making sure you engine won’t freeze. Clean antifreeze and proper ph levels are essential to keep you car running cool as well as not freezing. Your vehicle cooling system should be serviced every two years.

Heater / Defrost ~ I probably don’t need to explain this one, but seriously, make sure it is all working before you travel. Is your heater getting warm enough? If your thermostat is stuck open, you may have heat while driving, but what if you get stuck somewhere and can only idle, will your heater keep you warm?

Windshield Wipers ~ Good wiper blades are important for winter driving. Generally wiper blades should be replaced every six months, the get baked in the hot sun and of course the ice and snow takes it’s toll. Is your windshield washer fluid the proper solution for winter temperatures?

Tires ~ Of course you know to put winter tires on, but do you monitor your tire pressures? Tire pressure affects winter driving, tire pressures should be checked weekly. When was the last time you checked the air pressure in your spare tire?

Brakes ~ Well this one is not necessarily a “winter” concern, it is the most critical safety concern on your vehicle.

Exhaust System ~ Exhaust leaks can be a real concern in the winter months with the windows all closed to keep the chill out. Carbon monoxide from exhaust leaks can enter your vehicle and create a very dangerous environment.

Lights ~ A simple walk-around can tell you if your lights are all working. How are your headlamps aimed?

Oil and Filter ~ Are you using the proper oil viscosity? Your vehicle manufacturer has a recommended oil viscosity for your vehicle. This is important in winter months. Also the condition of your air & fuel filters is a consideration.

A few more thoughts:

~          Keeping your fuel tank at least half full can help to keep moisture from forming in the gas lines and freezing.

~          A blanket in the car

~          Ice Scraper…well just saying…also, a shovel may not be a bad idea.

~          Extra clothes, boots, gloves, hat. Be prepared for having to walk in winter conditions.

~          Bottled Water, dry food snacks. Do you have medications that you would need if  you were stranded?

Enjoy your holiday season!!

As the year comes to a close, I would like to wish you a Happy Holiday Season and please, be careful out there and BE PREPARED!

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