Winter is coming! It’s time to start preparing for your travels in the cold weather, snow, and icy roads. At Service Plus Automotive, we’ve put together some ideas to help you approach the season’s worst conditions with confidence and preparedness:
Take a Winter Driving Safety Course at Fort Drum
Each year, Fort Drum offers a Winter Driving Safety Course for the community, so that drivers who are inexperienced with snow driving can learn safely how to get around in icy conditions. Why not sign all the drivers in your family up, and take it together? It’s a small thing that can help you survive if you encounter a winter emergency on the road.
Check the NYSDOT website for possible issues
Get yourself in the habit of checking the roads before a trip for possible issues! The New York State Department of Transportation has a website where accidents and issues have been flagged. A quick check before you leave the house could save you considerable misery later!
Put Together an Emergency Kit
When you find yourself in an emergency breakdown situation, you will wish you had done this next step… pack yourself an emergency kit consisting of an ice scraper, a first aid kit, a small tool kit, a tire inflator that works off your cigarette lighter port, jumper cables (don’t depend on AAA or a good Samaritan in the worst part of winter), a crank/solar-powered flashlight, emergency rations, and a small sandbag in case you get stuck in the snow (it’s so hard to get dirt for traction out of ground frozen by snow. You’ll thank yourself for having some on hand!) and can’t pull out.
Get your car serviced
Preventative maintenance is the best maintenance. Add dangerous, potentially lethal weather to that, and it becomes even more crucial. It will save you time, trouble, and money to stay ahead of car troubles. Bring your car in to have it inspected before the bad weather starts for the following key issues:
- Change your tires - If this is your first winter in Calcium, you’re going to need to invest in a winter set of tires. You’ll want to be certain that your old tires are safely stored away for the season and that any snow tires you buy have a good tread on them with even wear.
- Top Up the Fluid Levels - Don’t go for drives without knowing that your oil, transmission, coolant/antifreeze, brake fluid, power steering, and windshield wiper fluid has been topped up and you are safe.
- Get the Oil Filter changed - Even if it still has a thousand miles or so before the next change is due, take care of this sooner rather than later. The season ahead of you is busy and you’ll be on the run often. Protect yourself by protecting your car.
- Check Your Heat - You are going to need a good working car heater. Make sure yours is running at full charge before getting potentially stranded in the cold.
- Check the Brakes - If you see a Brake Light on when it shouldn’t be, smell rubber burning, hear your tires squeal or screech as you brake, or feel a drop in pressure, you have a problem. But sometimes these symptoms don’t present until you are already in danger. Checking the brakes is a quick thing an auto mechanic can do to put your mind at ease.
- Belts and Hoses - Your hoses and belts suffered in the hot summer. Now, they will suffer in the frigid winter. They’ll need to be inspected for fitness to their purpose.
- Check the Battery - Open your hood and look for the signs of corrosion. It’s usually a white foam on the terminals. That is corrosive acid, so be careful! If there’s any signs of corrosion, bring it to us right away!
- Check the Lights - You need to be able to see what’s ahead of you, and you need other cars to see what your intentions are in a snowdrift. Make certain all your lights are functioning properly.
Before the holidays start and life gets very hectic, bring your car in to Service Plus Automotive in Calcium! Come discover why we are the trusted source for auto repair in Calcium, NY, Fort Drum, and Watertown. Schedule an appointment today for a full winter check-up. We are conveniently located at 27721 State Route 283, Calcium, NY 13616 (just across from Fort Drum), and we are open Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.