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Winter Weather Car Safety

Here are some tips from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration on how to prepare your car for winter weather.
Published: Nov. 28, 2021 at 11:33 PM EST
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - While winter weather can be beautiful, it can also cause a hassle on the roads. As the cold season draws nearer, here are a few tips from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration on how to make sure your car is prepared for the coming winter.

First, it’s a good idea to visit your mechanic for a tune-up and ask them to check for leaks, badly worn hoses, or other needed parts, repairs, and replacements.

Also have your mechanic check your battery, charging system, and belts, since it takes more battery power to start your car when it’s cold. Also have them check your cooling system for leaks, test your coolant, and drain or replace old coolant as needed.

Be sure to check your headlights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers, and interior lights. If you have a trailer, check those brake lights and turn signals as well.

You can go through a lot of windshield wiper fluid fairly quickly in a single snowstorm, so ensure your vehicle’s reservoir is full of high-quality “winter” fluid with de-icer.

Make sure defrosters and windshield wipers - both front and rear – work, and replace any worn blades.

Tire inflation drops as the outside temperature drops, so make sure each tire is filled to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure, which is located on the driver’s side door frame. Be sure to check the tires’ air pressure when they are cold, meaning the car hasn’t been driven for at least three hours.

You should inspect your tires’ tread and sidewalls for any cuts, punctures, bulges, scrapes, cracks, or bumps. If you see any damage, take your vehicle to a tire service professional for further inspection.

If you’ve had your tires for quite some time, consider getting them replaced, as some vehicle manufacturers recommend that tires be replaced every six years regardless of use.

You should stock your car with emergency winter needs, such as a snow shovel, broom, and ice scraper.

An abrasive material such as sand or kitty litter can help your car with traction in case you get stuck in the snow.

Also be sure to have jumper cables, a flashlight, and warning devices such as flares and emergency markers.

Blankets should also be kept handy, and for long trips in lightly populated areas, make sure you have food, water, a cell phone charger, and any necessary medications.

We here at WDTV hope to see you safe and prepared for the worst this winter. Be sure to tune into our First Alert Weather Team to keep you updated on all things winter weather.

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