Prepare your car for bad weather

2017.09.18 5

Inspect windshield wipers. 

Replace any that have cracked rubber. If your area gets a lot of snow and ice, invest in winter blades, which shed ice better.

Clean headlight covers. 

When they sit in the sun, they eventually turn yellow and cloudy, and that cuts the amount of light coming from your headlights.

Check tire treads. 

Try this classic Real Simple trick: Insert a penny into the tires’ grooves in several spots. Make sure to slip the coin into the tread so that Abraham Lincoln goes in headfirst. If you can see the top of the president’s head, the tires are worn down too much and should be replaced. And if the place you live gets a lot of extreme weather, consider buying winter tires. Winter tires are made from a softer compound, which stays pliable and sticks to the road better.

Get your car winter-serviced. 

This is important if you live in a cold-weather area. It includes adding winter-grade fluids that resist freezing, like antifreeze, oil, and windshield-wiper solution. Also make sure that the levels are topped off throughout the season.

Stock an emergency kit. 

Include road flares, a blanket, a shovel, a flashlight, jumper cables, a tow rope, an air compressor, duct tape, and an ice scraper. You may also want to add dry food, water, toilet paper, and warm clothes.