Is Your Car Ready for Winter?

Posted November 22, 2013

The Farmers’ Almanac is predicting we’ll have a “biting cold & snowy” winter in Grand Rapids this year.  Are you ready?  Is your car ready for winter?  Forecasts are not guarantees, but, given that we live an hour from the Big Lake, it’s pretty much guaranteed we’ll have some snow.  Have you  prepared your car to drive in it?

We are in the final stretch before the snow begins to fall, so while you still can go over your vehicle with a flashlight and a magnifying glass.  Are your tires in good shape?  Do your treads look worn?  It’s better to be safe than sorry with tires because when the ice and snow come, you’ll be asking a lot of those tires.  If they’re still in good shape, check the air pressure in all of them, and remember the spare.

Do your fluids look topped off – oil, coolant, brake, and transmission?  Don’t forget the windshield wiper fluid, the freeze resistant kind.  Salt can smear all over your windshield, and you need to see to drive.  Check your windshield wipers too.  If it’s been more than six months since you changed them, they need replacing.  Make sure your brakes and your lights – head and tail – are all working.  You will be relying on them more on those dark and icy roads.

Once you’ve given your car a full inspection, it’s time to add your winter emergency supplies to the trunk.  Getting stranded in cold weather is a dangerous situation, and you need to be able to keep warm, dry, and safe and have the right tools to get you back on the road again.  Include:

  • a blanket

  • a shovel

  • a flashlight

  • jumper cables

  • flares

  • waterproof matches

  • a first aid kit

  • food and water

  • a bag of sand or kitty litter for traction

You will also need a good scraper, of course; even for lesser precipitation.  And add a candle and a medium sized metal tin to put it in.  If you light the candle and keep it in the tin, it will provide light and warmth while you wait for help to come or figure out how to get yourself out of a ditch.  A cell phone is also useful.  Keep a charger in your car too, if possible.

As the streets in Grand Rapids are terrible, make sure your shocks and struts are up handling

those potholes. If your struts are bad, your tires will be bad sooner or later, and bad tires lead to accidents.  If you would like an expert’s help in looking over your vehicle for winter readiness, call Veenstra’s.  We’d be happy to go over it thoroughly and make the necessary safety recommendations and adjustments.

As always, be careful out there in the white stuff.  Our staff at Veenstra’s Garage wishes you a lovely holiday season with your family and friends!


Categories: Car Care

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