Drivers: Don’t Forget to Check the Antifreeze
Winter driving brings out the worst case scenarios in my head and before the winter hits we always take the time to prep our vehicles. One of the easiest and most important tasks to prepare your vehicle for winter driving is to inspect the level and freshness of your vehicle’s antifreeze. One of the most important jobs antifreeze has is to keep the engine from overheating but also from freezing in the winter. Who knew antifreeze had such a valuable job?
While I do know how to check the anti-freeze levels in our vehicles, I never have to do it because it falls onto Mr. SMSL. It is recommended that you check your anti-freeze levels every 12 months, but here it is done once a month. In the winter months it is especially important to keep it checked and at the proper levels as well as fresh. In order to check your anti-freeze levels you need an antifreeze ball tester, a jug of antifreeze and a little know how. But it is easier than it sounds because the antifreeze ball tester shows you just how much antifreeze you need to add or if it is just right.
But checking the antifreeze isn’t the only thing you need to check. Be sure your battery is fully charged because the cold weather is a heavy drain on your battery. Double check your windshield wipers and make sure they are in good condition. Brushing snow and ice off wears them out so always carry an extra jug of windshield wiper fluid and make sure the reservoir is always full. This will allow you to keep the windows clear and keep your line of vision clearer.
Now remember earlier, we talked about antifreeze and the other thing you want to be sure to have checked is your defroster and heater system. The anti-freeze works with the heater and defroster so those kind of go hand in hand. Tires are also vitally important because snow and ice means slick roadways. If you have good all season tires or snow tires you will be a step ahead of the game. Just remember to keep these items in your car for just in case scenarios.
- Snow Scraper
- Deicer (this stays in my purse so it’s never frozen)
- Extra hats, mittens, scarves
- Small shovel
- Sand or cat litter to help with traction)
- boots and coveralls
- And the “survival” kit
Before you leave home clear your car off completely and drive slowly to reach your destination. My general rule of thumb is no more than 40 mph on snow packed roads and if someone wants to pass me more power to them. When there is ice on the road I stay of the roads if at all possible. But if you can’t drive even slower than you normally would, brake and turn slowly to help you stay in control of your vehicle. Be sure to check out Tedd Britt Chevrolet for all of your automotive needs.
By following these tips above you can have a safe winter driving season and don’t forget to check your antifreeze.