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Prepare Your Vehicle for This Week’s Polar Vortex

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If you happen to live in the Midwest, you’re likely already planning on the multiple layers of clothing and cold-weather accessories you’re going to wear the rest of this week. Why? Two words: polar vortex.

But have you considered what you can do to help prep your vehicle for this week’s sub-zero temperatures? Here are some practical steps to take to ensure that your vehicle functions safely and well despite the extreme cold.

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winter breakdown

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Assemble an emergency kit

Make sure to pack a winter emergency kit in your vehicle, in case of a breakdown. Include items like a first aid kit, snow boots, bottled water, snacks, and blankets. Jumper cables, salt, a flashlight, and shovel are other essentials.

Monitor tire pressure

Chilly temperatures can deflate your vehicle’s tires, which in turn, reduces traction on slick roads. By keeping your tires at the optimum tire pressure, you can increase your auto’s performance on winter roads.

Use a special coolant mixture

Some coolants can freeze during negative temperatures. Try using a ratio of 50 percent antifreeze and 50 percent water, to help prevent the coolant from solidifying.

Photo: Gerry

Replace wiper blades if necessary

Visibility is important any time of year, but especially in winter. Polar vortexes are often associated with high winds, which can result in whiteout conditions. Help keep the windshield clear by replacing wiper blades with new ones, if your current ones show signs of wear.

Check your vehicle’s battery

Extreme cold also takes a toll on auto batteries. Inspect your vehicle’s battery to ensure that it has ample charging power to weather this week’s temperature drop.

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News Source: Detroit Free Press