How Can I Winterize My Car?
Severe winter weather can hit anywhere, including the Deep South. The Texas Department of Insurance reminds motorists that even places like Texas can experience winter weather that can make roadways hazardous and unpredictable.
Everyone in North America can be affected by dangerous winter weather. Here are ways you can winterize your car before you hit the road:
- Have a mechanic check a number of systems and parts on your car. This includes the battery, antifreeze, wipers, windshield washer fluid, ignition, thermostat, headlights, hazard lights, heater, brakes, defroster,
tire pressure and tread wear, and oil level.
- Family Circle magazine recommends you pack an emergency kit with flashlights and batteries, a warm blanket
and extra jackets, small shovel, bag of sand (you can use this — or cat litter — for snow or ice around your tires), jumper cables, nonperishable snacks, ice scraper, first-aid kit, gloves, basic toolkit and warning devices (flares
or triangles). These items can help you in the case you are caught in dangerous driving conditions and need to pull over before you make it to your destination.
- You should also keep your gas tank at least half full. A full tank can prevent gas-line freeze-ups, and you’ll be able to keep the car running and the heater blowing in case you get stranded.
- Have a way to communicate in case of trouble. Almost everyone keeps a phone with them at all times, but don’t forget the car charger — one you can plug into your car and one that is portable — so your phone is less likely to run out of power in the case you do have to pull over.
The Texas Department of Insurance also provides tips for safe winter driving.
Even if you think you are among the safest drivers, it doesn’t mean that others who take the wheel in winter weather can’t bump into you. Drivers can protect their cars with coverages that fill the gap between what your vehicle insurance will pay and what you owe on your loan, if your vehicle is declared a total loss after an accident. And if harsh winter weather helps to cause damage to your car engine, mechanical repair coverage protects your vehicle from the cost of expensive repairs not covered by your manufacturer’s warranty.
Severe winter weather in the South may not sound real, but the costs of fixing problems are real if you don’t take winter weather seriously.
Information in this article is general in nature and for your consideration, not as financial advice. Please contact your own financial professionals regarding your specific needs before taking any action based upon this information.
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