Winter Holiday Travel Road Safety Tips
It's the time of year where your mind starts to wander off into good times relaxing, present shopping and getaways, and if you're planning a road trip getaway this Christmas, even if you're in Southern California these are things you need to mindful of, especially if you plan on heading to colder climates or even the snow, so in the spirit of the holidays, here are Shige's "Winter Holiday Travel Road Safety Tips" CHECK LIST!
Check your owners manual for winter oil viscosity recommendations. In the winter oil viscosity is going to be thinner as cold temperatures cause the oil to thicken, it could get so thick the engine will not run properly. Getting stuck in the snow is never ideal!
In colder temperatures the engine is harder to turn which can shorten your battery's life. Get your battery tested or better yet get it tested and carry a portable battery jumper to be 100% prepared.
The winter season is the most likely time for your battery to die so make sure it's in proper condition so you don't have to stress!
Making sure your tire pressure is accurate is not defined by seasons and requires year round maintaining. Would you believe that the manufacture guide does not have a recommended tire pressure for cold climates?
You should adjust your tire pressure accordingly to get maximum performance. Check your tire tread and for any damage before you hit the road. This will help to ensure a safe winter or holiday road trip!
COOLANT AKA ANTI-FREEZE
Engine coolant level and condition should be inspected.
The purpose of coolant aka "antifreeze" is to keep your engine from freezing in the winter.
Coolant also cools the engine in warm weather and is used to prevent corrosion.
Use a product that will not damage components of your cooling system. Normal mixtures are usually 50/50 or 50% Coolant to 50% Water (distilled).
In freezing temps it is recommended to run 60/40 or 60% coolant to 50% distilled water.
This will give the coolant more anti-freezing capability.
Before you go on a load road trip this winter, make sure all your car lights are working properly, here's a quick check list to go through:
- High and low beams
- Fog lights
- Tail lights
- Parking lights
- Reverse and interior dome light
- Don't take your visibility for granted!
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO VISIT YOUR TRUSTED AUTO SERVICE CENTER
Have your gift list check marked, but what was that you forgot? That's right your car!
Going away this Christmas or New Year's to wet, cold or snowy conditions is a perfect reason to make a visit to your trusted automotive service facility and tell them about your plans. Checking simple things like if your heater and defrost is working properly would be high on the inspection priority list, along with key items --- brakes, tires, fluids, belts, battery, etc. Now is the time to make an appointment,, free digital inspection so you can safely enjoy the rest of your holiday!
On the priority list, don't forget to check that all your fluids are topped off. Including but not limited to:
engine oil, engine coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, differential fluid, and washer fluid.
Make sure there are no major fluid leaks under your vehicle, this is not something you want to find out once you're hundreds of miles away from home!
Inspect your front and rear brakes pads and make sure you have at least 3mm of pad remaining.
Inspect your wiper blades, winter is known for rain and snow conditions, you want to make sure that you are able to see what's ahead of you once you're on the road. Replace them if you have not done so in the last year.
HEATER AND A/C SYSTEM
Check and make sure your heater and a/c system is operating normally. This system will help you defog the windows more effectively especially if you get stuck in the rain, snow or if it's cold outdoors.
Have an emergency kit which should include a first aid kit, flash light, simple tools, work gloves, jumper cables, some snacks, extra money, rain poncho and maybe even a blanket.
LIST OF EMERGENCY CONTACTS
When you're planning on going away, not only should you let someone close to you know where you're going, it's going to be prepared with list of emergency contacts, whether it's, AAA, another roadside service, just be ready and have a plan because under stress it is easy to forget and panic.
We wish you a happy and safe holiday!