May 16, 2022

Botu Linum

The Car & Automotive Devotees

Local News: Preparing for winter travel (1/12/22)

4 min read

The region had its first visit of winter weather for 2022 on Thursday, Jan. 6.

With the arrival of winter weather, including snow, sleet and ice, comes potential hazardous roadways.

If travel is a must, one of the basic rules to adhere to is to slow down as it is more difficult to control or stop a vehicle on a slippery or snowy surface.

According to, “if you are stopped or stalled in wintry weather, stay focused on yourself and you passengers, your car and your surroundings including stay with your car and don’t overexert yourself; let your car be seen and put bright markers on the antenna or windows and keep the interior light on.” The site also states to “be mindful of carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure your exhaust pipe is clear of any snow and run your car only sporadically – just long enough to stay warm. Don’t run your car for long periods of time with the windows up or in an enclosed space.”

There are many important steps to take when preparing your vehicle to travel when the temperature drops including checking the tire inflation pressure. “Make sure each tire is filled to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure, which is in your owner’s manual and on a label located on the driver’s side door frame. Do not inflate your tires to the pressure listed on the tire itself. That number is the maximum pressure the tire can hold, not the recommended pressure for the vehicle.”

Some other tips:

Inspect your tires at least once a month and before long road trips.

It’s best to check the tires when they’re cold, meaning that they have not been driven on for at least three hours.

Check each tire’s age. Some vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing tires every six years regardless of use” (

In addition to tire pressure, it is important to check for any damage or condition as well as check “tread and sidewalls for any cuts, punctures, bulges, scrapes, cracks, or bumps. The tread should be at least 2/32 of an inch or greater on all tires; and your spare tire” (

Cold weather can impact a vehicle’s battery power as it takes more energy to start, and the driving range of hybrid-electric vehicles can be reduced is stated on the site. It is recommended to have a mechanic check your battery, charging system, belts, and for any other needed repairs or replacements.”

The site recommends checking vehicle’s headlights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers and interior lights and if necessary, trailer brake lights. In addition, make sure the windshield wiper fluid is full of quality winter fluid with deicer as well as “make sure defrosters and all windshield wipers work and replace worn blades.”

“Make sure you have enough coolant in your vehicle, and that it meets the manufacturer’s specifications. See your vehicle owner’s manual for recommendations. Check the cooling system for leaks, test the coolant, and drain or replace the old coolant.” (

Stocking your vehicle with supplies to deal with winter driving relates tasks will also be helpful if need be. This includes a snow shovel, broom, and ice scraper; abrasive material (sand or kitty litter), in case your vehicle gets stuck in the snow; jumper cables, flashlight, and warning devices (flares and emergency markers); blankets for protection from the cold; and a cell phone and charger, water, food, and any necessary medicine.” (

“Keep your gas tank close to full whenever possible.

For electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, decrease the drain on the battery. In general, lithium-ion batteries have reduced energy at lower temperatures. Additionally, most all vehicle batteries will use battery power for self-heating in low temperatures. The battery drain due to heating can be minimized by keeping your electric vehicle as warm as possible during freezing temperatures. A common way to do this: plug your vehicle in at night during the winter, keeping the battery temperature in its optimal ranges.

Before heading out, make sure to check the weather, road conditions and traffic. Familiarize yourself with directions and maps before you go—even if you use a GPS—and let others know your route and anticipated arrival time. On longer trips, plan enough time to stop to stretch, get something to eat, check your phone, and change drivers or rest if you feel drowsy.” (