Winter is just around the corner, whether it seems like it or not. On some areas of the country, there is already frost on the ground and warmer jackets are already needed to go outside. Many dads out there are gear heads or car enthusiasts that are helping to prepare their teen's cars for the long winter months soon upon us. Since it's not overly cold yet, and no snow on the ground, for now, it's the perfect time to start preparing. Here are the top five tips from gear heads on getting ready.
- Get an oil change- Oil thickens in colder temperatures. Most of the time, or cars use different viscosity during the summer and winter, and frankly, most people don't have a clue which is which and what's in their car. Simply getting an oil change ensures that your teen's car is going to have enough oil in it to begin with and that it's the right viscosity.
- Make sure that you can see- You can't safely drive a car if you can't see out the windows. Make sure that your windshield wipers are actually working properly, and replace them if they aren't. Be sure that there is an ice scraper in the glove box just in case you need it and if you can find some, throw some defogger on the windows to make it easier to see when the car is warmer than it is outside. Make sure that all the lights are working properly, including fog lights, turn signals, and brake lights so that accidents are minimized as much as possible. Visibility is the number one most important thing when you're driving.
- Check your tires- Not only should tire pressure be checked to ensure proper pressure, but if you live in an area that you know will get snow, now is the time to start thinking about putting snow tires on. In some areas, it begins snowing as soon as Halloween, if not earlier. It's much better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the safety of your teen. Keep chains in the trunk of the car if you need an extra oopf getting up more mountainous areas as well.
- Check your antifreeze- There isn't anything more annoying than not being able to start the car because you didn't have the right antifreeze mixture in the radiator and it froze. Aim for a 50/50 solution so that it won't freeze in even the coldest of temps. Most auto body shops and parts stores will check your antifreeze levels for you for free. If it's not correct, take the car to be flushed and refilled.
- Prepare an emergency roadside kit- Most people laugh when they're told this but when you get stuck in the snow and your life depends on it, it's no laughing matter. Make sure that there is water to drink, plenty of blankets, food such as beef jerky, nuts, trail mix, and other goods that are high energy and protein to sustain you for a few days. Keep a flashlight, road flares, first aide kit, extra pair of warm clothes, kitty litter, gloves, a small shovel, and extra batteries in your emergency roadside kit just in case. There is nothing worse than being stuck and not being able to do anything about it because you were ill prepared.