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United Car Care Shares Tips for Preventing Vehicle Breakdowns and Accidents Due to Winter Driving Conditions

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This article is sponsored by United Car Care.

GMC SUV Driving In Snow
Photo: Pixabay

Winter driving presents some challenges for vehicle maintenance and safety significantly different than warm weather driving. You can take some reasonable and simple maintenance steps to greatly reduce the likelihood of emergency repair work over the winter.  In this article, vehicle maintenance contract provider United Car Care shares tips for safe and reliable winter driving.

Low battery

Maintain your battery and keep jumper cables handy

Cold temperatures are particularly hard on your vehicle’s battery, which can lose half or more of its cranking power in sub-zero temperatures. Be sure that your battery is always less than five years old, and have it checked at least as often as you have the oil changed. Always keep a set of jumper cables in your vehicle. They can be life-savers for you or other motorists who have battery problems in extreme weather.

winter car maintenance tips driving snow ice weather tires

Be sure your tires are up to winter driving conditions

Be sure that your tires are in good shape and are of the right type for the sort of winter driving conditions you can expect to encounter. In warmer climates, good all-season tires are usually fine for most winter conditions. In areas where winter is more severe, winter tires may be more appropriate. Winter tires usually have shorter tread life and ride louder than all-season tires, so you might want to get some advice from a qualified mechanic as to the type of tires that are best for your area. Check your tire pressure at least weekly, and if your vehicle has a sensor system that alerts you to low tire pressure, get them properly inflated. Low tire pressure leads to less traction on snow and ice and much greater tire wear in cold conditions.

transportation, winter and vehicle concept - closeup of man pouring antifreeze into windscreen water tank

Check your coolant levels

Antifreeze, or engine coolant, keeps your engine’s cooling system and radiator from freezing in cold weather. As temperatures start to drop when winter approaches, be sure your coolant level is appropriate and that your coolant system does not have any leaks.

Woman's hand picking up windshield wiper

Regularly check your windshield wipers and wiper fluid levels

Sleet and snow, along with slush and mud from the roadway, make for much more difficult visibility issues than ordinary warm weather rain. If your wipers are damaged or worn, they will have serious problems with keeping your windshield clear when the weather gets rough. Buy quality wiper blades and inspect them regularly during the winter months. Also, be sure that your wiper fluid reservoir is always full of winter-grade wiper fluid. When the weather is nasty, you are likely to need continuous flushing of your windshield with de-icing fluid while driving.

gas pump fuel

Keep your fuel tank at least half full at all times

Cold weather causes an increased risk of condensation inside your fuel tank, which can be very damaging to your fuel pump and lines. A full fuel tank greatly reduces the risk of condensation at low temperatures. There is also the risk of extended stops on the roadway during winter because of traffic and weather conditions. It is vital that you have sufficient fuel in your vehicle to handle extended time on the roadside when you will need heat and enough fuel to get back home.

emergency car kit fire extinguisher jumper cables
Photo: Michigan Radio/Charles Manley

Keep your vehicle properly supplied

Winter vehicle preparation goes beyond your vehicle’s operating systems. Even with the best preparation, traffic or weather conditions can stall your travel for extended periods. Always be sure that you have flashlights, blankets, jumper cables and emergency lights in your vehicle. Keep extra charging batteries for your cell phone in your vehicle, too, and be sure they are regularly charged. Some drinking water and snacks can help keep you safe as well.

About United Car Care

United Car Care is a Better Business Bureau A-rated company that offers vehicle service contracts that provide reliable protection at an affordable cost. Customers who are looking for quality mechanical protection for their vehicles enjoy the security of our product which is backed by an A-rated insurer. We are proud of the fact that we have had over a million satisfied customers as well as many long-time relationships with our dealers and agents. These relationships are a true testimonial to United Car Care’s core values: quality, dependability, and customer service.