Winterize your vehicle this season
As the first snowflakes begin to fall, it’s important to remember to prepare your vehicle for the road and winterize your vehicle this season. Staying safe is essential in states like North Dakota and Minnesota, where winters mean cold temps and tall snow drifts.
As the holiday season approaches, it’s easy to become busy and forget to take the time to add an emergency kit and have your vehicle’s fluids checked. These tasks can be lifesavers, though, when that big winter storm hits.
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, it is important to check your vehicle’s fluids before the temperature dips below zero.
- Coolant, antifreeze, engine oil and windshield wiper fluid are all liquids that should be either changed or checked for the winter season.
- How old is your car battery? Full battery strength is important when starting your vehicle during those cold winter mornings. Most car batteries last three to five years.
- Make sure headlights and rear lights are working and bright.
- Now is a good time to change your windshield wipers.
In addition to a standard fluid check and vehicle inspection, this is the perfect time of year to put together an emergency kit for your vehicle, or inspect the one you already have. Some of the items suggested by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other groups, include:
- Nonperishable, easily-accessible food, like protein bars.
- Water to drink.
- Blankets to stay warm.
- Matches and at least one candle, which can keep a vehicle warm.
- Jumper cables.
- Bag of sand, salt and/or cat litter to give tires traction or melt snow.
- Small shovel to dig out of small drifts.
- Flashlight with extra batteries.
- Flares to alert people of your location.
- Battery-powered radio.
- Paper road maps and GPS system.