A Guide to Winter Driving
October 22, 2011
Winter Vehicle Preparation Checklist:
• Check the ignition, brakes, wiring, hoses and fan belts.
• Change and adjust the spark plugs.
• Check the air, fuel and emission filters, and the PCV valve.
• Inspect the distributor.
• Check the battery.
• Check the tires for air, sidewall wear and tread depth.
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• Check antifreeze levels and the freeze line.
Emergency Kit Checklist:
• Properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench and tripod-type jack
• Jumper cables
• Tow and tire chains
• Bag of salt or cat litter
• Tool kit
• Ice scraper and snow brush
Survival Kit Checklist:
• Working flashlight and extra batteries
• Reflective triangles and brightly-colored cloth
• First aid kit
• Exterior windshield cleaner
• Wooden stick matches in a waterproof container
• Scissors and string/cord
• Non-perishable, high-energy foods like unsalted canned nuts, dried fruits, and hard candy.
• Gallon jug of water
• Heavy woolen mittens, socks, a cap and blankets.
If You Become Stranded…
• Do not leave your car unless you know exactly where you are, how far it is to possible help, and are certain you will improve your situation.
• To attract attention, light two flares and place one at each end of the car a safe distance away. Hang a brightly colored cloth from your antenna.
• If you are sure the car's exhaust pipe is not blocked, run the engine and heater for about 10 minutes every hour or so depending upon the amount of gas in the tank.
• To protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia use the woolen items and blankets to keep warm.
• Keep at least one window open slightly. Heavy snow and ice can seal a car shut.
• Eat a hard candy to keep your mouth moist.