January 19

Winter Car Care: What Should You Have in Your Car?

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Winter is by far the harshest season of the year, making it essential to be prepared for winter driving. There’s no such thing as being overprepared when driving in the winter months. Stocking your vehicle with crucial supplies can make all the difference when it comes to your and your family’s safety. Even though winter conditions are mild in Lewisville, Texas, there are several items that you may want to keep in your car during winter, especially if you plan on traveling to the northern states.

Ice Scraper and Snow Brush

Winter in Forest

Image via Flickr by torekhan

Ice and snow can accumulate on your vehicle, and it’s essential to clean it off before driving. Your car’s windshield and other windows need to be cleared of snow and ice so you can see. Removing any ice and snow buildup from your vehicle’s top, hood, or trunk is also crucial to keep it from flying up or sliding down the windshield, leaving you blind.

The best tools for the job are an ice scraper and a snow brush. These can often be found together as a single tool or two separate pieces. Use the scraper to loosen the ice and snow from your windshield and other windows, then use the brush to sweep it away. Don’t use a scraper on your vehicle’s body, as it may damage the paint, but a brush will safely remove loose ice and snow from the entire vehicle.

Sunglasses

Though sunglasses are more often associated with summer, they can also help in winter. Snow is highly reflective, and when you drive in an area with a lot of snow and ice on the ground, the sun can be blinding. Wearing sunglasses will help reduce the glare from the snow and give you a clearer view of the road ahead.

Winter Clothing and Gloves

Your plan for driving in the winter likely doesn’t include being stranded in the cold. But it is a possibility due to road conditions or mechanical issues with your vehicle. In situations like these, it’s a good idea to have gloves and a supply of winter clothing, such as:

  • Heavy winter coats.
  • Weather-resistant pants.
  • Thermal base layers.
  • Warm, waterproof boots.
  • Hand and foot warmers.
  • Toboggans or beanies.

These essential winter clothes could be the difference between life and death in extreme situations and are well worth the cargo space used to carry them.

Shovel

Situations where you may become stuck in the snow call for a few different items, but none as crucial as a shovel. Collapsible and small shovels are available and can be stowed in your vehicle’s trunk or cargo area. You never know when you’ll need a shovel to clear a path for driving. Shovels are a staple for off-road enthusiasts as well.

Sand, Cat Litter, or Rock Salt

Sometimes, when your vehicle is stuck, you will need more than just a shovel to get it moving again. When you need extra traction for your vehicle’s tires to grip, you can use items such as sand, cat litter, or rock salt to provide that traction. These materials help your tires grip in icy and snowy conditions so you can get your car out of a slippery situation.

Blankets

There are times when you may be stranded without the option of walking or getting your car back on the road. You will need to hunker down in your vehicle and wait for help in these situations. A blanket can be a lifesaver as a bonus to having winter clothing and gloves. If you are traveling with your family during the winter months, you may want to carry a blanket for every passenger, just in case you’re in a situation where staying warm is vital.

First-Aid Kit

You should keep a fully stocked first-aid kit in your car for emergencies, especially during the winter. Emergency vehicle response times are typically slower during the winter months due to the weather. Should you or a family member be injured in an accident,  a first-aid kit will help sustain you until emergency responders reach your location.

Flashlight

The days tend to be much shorter during the winter, and you could find yourself in an emergency after dark. A flashlight can help you assess the situation and make you more visible to emergency responders and other motorists.

Windshield Wiper Fluid

Windshield wiper fluid works to keep your windshield clear as you drive in winter weather conditions. You can even purchase washer fluid that is specially formulated for winter. As you drive during the winter, you may find that you use the windshield washer more often, so consider having an extra bottle of washer fluid on hand.

Cellphone Charger

Your cellphone is your lifeline when an emergency occurs, and you will need it to have a fully charged battery. Keeping a cellphone charger in your vehicle will ensure that your phone’s battery won’t run out should you need to contact someone in the Lewisville area for help during an emergency.

Nonperishable Food and Water

In dire situations where road conditions are nearly impossible to traverse, you may find yourself stranded for an unknown amount of time before help can reach you. In cases like this, having nonperishable food and water could be the difference between life and death. Items such as granola bars, chips, and crackers make for excellent food sources in an emergency. However, remember that you will also need water, and bottled water is the most convenient way to ensure that you have the liquids you need.

These are only a few of the essential items that you can carry in your vehicle throughout the winter. You can never be overprepared for driving during the winter months. Though you may not need to use the supplies that you stock in your vehicle, you will be glad to have them should an emergency situation arise. Contact us or visit Huffines CJDR Lewisville for more information about winter driving preparedness and all of your automotive needs.


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