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Inside and Out Winter Protection

How to Protect Your Car Inside and Out This Winter

To help drivers combat the tough road conditions associated with the winter season, the experts at Prestone offer information on vehicle preparation to ensure that motorists and their vehicles are properly equipped. Utilizing these tips will help motorists avoid potential roadside issues and eliminate some unnecessary stress while traveling during winter.

1. Get a basic tune-up — Hoses, belts, spark plugs and wires should be checked and changed if necessary.

2. Protect against freeze ups — Antifreeze/coolant is extremely important in colder temperatures. If there is too much water and not enough antifreeze/coolant in the system, it can freeze up, expand and crack key engine components. Motorists should check fluid levels and top them off before temperatures plummet.

3. Check tire tread — Bald tires are not only unsafe, but can potentially lead to a disaster on slick roadways. Tires connect the car to the road, so traction is imperative during winter. In areas with high snow accumulation, winter tires are a solid investment, providing more traction when accelerating, braking and turning.

4. Replace worn brake pads and shoes — Having maximum stopping power is essential.

5. Use a winter-formulated washer fluid — Regular blue washer fluids can freeze in the washer reservoir or on the windshield while driving. Special de-icer formulas will stay liquid in the washer reservoir at temperatures as low as -34 degree Farenheit.

6. Check windshield wipers — If they streak or cause problems, motorists should buy blades especially made for winter conditions. Visibility is crucial this time of year.

7. Prevent gas line freeze — Using a winter fuel system cleaner helps prevent gas line freeze in extremely cold weather conditions. Prestone R&D engineers recommend adding a bottle of fuel de-icer at every fill up to keep moisture from freezing in the fuel line.

8. Be prepared for an emergency — While routine maintenance can afford drivers a certain level of comfort, having a well-stocked kit provides peace of mind. Keep a cellular phone, extra de-icer washer fluid, a good ice scraper and snowbrush, spray de-icer, blankets, snacks, bottled water and warm clothing in the kit.

9. Remove snow and ice from the entire car — Not taking the time to clear off all surfaces before venturing onto roadways can create dangerous situations for all motorists. Blowing snow and ice causes reduced visibility and treacherous obstructions.

10. Pay attention — Take a moment to listen to weather and traffic reports. When the conditions are too hazardous, motorists should stay off the roads. If people must travel when roads are bad, it is important they know their vehicle and use extreme caution. Keeping an 8-10 second distance between cars, reducing speeds on hills, storing sandbags in the trunk of rear-wheel drive cars and wearing seat belts will all help prevent accidents from occurring. It is also a good idea for motorists to always keep at least a half tank of gas in vehicles during winter months — it will be their only source of heat if stranded.

Source: Prestone