Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Preparing For Better Winter Driving

Preparing for winter driving should be on every driver's mind as soon as the air starts to turn chilly. Before you know it, familiar roads will be transformed under layers of ice and snow. Slush, sleet, and freezing rain make winter driving a formidable task; it's no wonder that so many people dread the coming of winter. To make sure that you and your vehicle are ready for the change of seasons, you can prepare a little winter car care kit that will keep you safe during this challenging driving time.

A winter kit should consist of a few basic supplies that will protect you against simple emergency situations as well as the routine challenges that come along with winter weather. You can make your winter kit as elaborate as you want. Some climates will require you to have a more extensive kit than others, though the basics will remain the same. Here are some things you can do to get yourself ready.

One of the best safety measures you can take with regards to winter driving is a good tune up and winterizing. Begin your preparations for winter driving by taking your care to a service center for a winterizing service. Once this has been completed, you can be more certain that you car's engine is up to the task of operating smoothly all winter. At the minimum, your winter care kit should include an ice scraper, brush, de-icer for locks, ice melter, gravel, a small shovel, a safety signal, and an emergency blanket. Depending on your climate, you might want to include tire chains in this kit, as well as instructions on how to use them. These will keep you safe in most winter driving situations. Let's look closer at a couple of these common tools.

Clearing ice and snow from your car is very important. To do this effectively, you'll need a few particular items. Ice scrapers are small handheld items made of plastic; at their most basic, an ice scraper is simply a wedge shaped scraper on a handle. These can be purchased for just a couple dollars at any corner store; in fact, because ice scrapers are so common, it's easy to find them on sale as soon as the weather starts to get cold. Make sure that the ice scraper you purchase is large enough for the vehicle you own. If you can't easily reach the center of your windshield with your hand, then you are going to need an ice scraper with a longer handle. These longer scrapers usually have brushes built into them. These multi-use tools are very convenient and won't cost much more than a basic scraper.

A lock de-icer will help you get into your car when the door lock is frozen shut. Many de-icers are compact and meant to be carried on your keychain for easy access. If you discover that your lock is frozen, a quick squirt of de-icer will clear the ice away and allow you to unlock your door. De-icer is also inexpensive and can be purchased at a department store or auto supply store.

Staying safe on the road in winter is a little more challenging than it is during other parts of the year. There are more risk factors at work in winter and the snow can hide dangers that you'd otherwise be able to see. With just a little preparation, you'll have all the tools you'll need to operate your car safely and efficiently all winter long.

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