If you are preparing for a winter staycation take a look at My Dog Friendly Break Hotels. It is worth getting your vehicle ready for a winter road trip to avoid any issues on the way.
Get Your Tires Ready
The tires underneath your car are likely the most important thing to consider for your winter road trip, this is especially true if your path will lead you through snowy icy regions.
If you will be traversing frigid environments, make sure that you have prepared your tires with snow chains or at least packed them in your vehicle.
If you will be travelling through areas with snow and lightly plowed roads, chains will be enough.
If you will be travelling through especially icy roads, you may want to swap out your current tires with winter tires made for these environments.
You will also want to be very careful about monitoring your tire pressure. This is especially true if you will be traveling through regions with different climates.
Every 10 degrees of temperature change will cause the pressure in your tires to rise or drop.
Make sure you know exactly what the optimal pressure is for your tires and monitor them at frequent intervals.
Check the Fluid Levels Before Traveling
Low temperatures that you will experience in a winter road trip can be hard on the fluids in the car as well.
Water freezes and oil does not function quite as well as it can be expected to in normal temperatures. Before you set out on your road trip, make sure you have checked that all the fluids in your vehicle are at the proper levels.
This includes braking fluid, power steering fluid, antifreeze, engine oil and water in the radiator. This should be done before any trip but it is especially important before you make a winter road trip.
In addition to the fact that car trouble is always more dangerous in the winter, full fluid tanks prevent the containers from freezing over and causing serious problems.
And, don’t forget the importance of windshield wiper fluid as well. This fluid tends to be exhausted very quickly in cold weather. You can also purchase special windshield wiper fluid for use in extremely low temperatures.
Research Your Route for Roads Prone to Snow
If you will be traveling through hills and mountainous regions, the views will surely be spectacular.
You can also expect to find roads that are closed and restricted to very low driving speeds. Your favorite GPS navigation app can keep you informed of such things, but will not inform you of the sudden occurrence of snow storms and whiteouts.
Keep the website and phone number for the local traffic authority on hand and stay informed by listening to updates from the local news at regular intervals.
If you will be traversing any especially troublesome routes, you may want to plan an alternative route just in case.
Pack a Shovel and Sandbag
If you have ever tried to clear the snow from your driveway so that you can drive out, you know this can be an especially difficult task.
Now, imagine trying to do this with your bare hands. Without a doubt it would be much easier if you were to bring along a handy snow shovel and a bag of sand that will allow you to add some traction to the ground and pull your car from a snowbank.
The alternative will be waiting for the next snow plow to pass by and this could be a considerable wait. Be sure you keep your hazard lights to alert passing cars and snow plows to your presence.
Be Familiar With Winter Driving Techniques
Take time to brush up on those winter driving techniques that can be applied in snowy and icy conditions.
For example, leave plenty of extra room between your car and the car in front of you. If you have applied the brake and feel the pedal pulsate beneath your feet, this is the anti-lock braking mechanism kicking in.
Don’t let your foot off, keep the pressure solid until you come to a full stop. If you find yourself driving through a whiteout, slow your speed to a crawl and keep your headlights on.
Pack an Emergency Kit Just in Case
No one wants to think about having an accident in the snow. But for your own good it is important to consider every eventuality.
Even a small seemingly innocuous accident in the dead of winter can be a very serious problem if you are not prepared.
Temperatures can suddenly drop to below zero and without sufficient preparation, freezing to death becomes a very likely possibility.
Prepare for the worst with a survival bag containing the following items:
- Emergency Blankets
- Plenty of Water
- Extra Antifreeze
- Jumper cables
- First aid kit
- Ice scraper
- Bag of sand
Service Your Vehicle Before You Travel
Travelling in the dead of winter will put considerable strain on your vehicle so it pays to make sure you will be travelling in a road-worthy vehicle. If you don’t want to use your own car or need to hire choose a good company like Warrington Car Hire. They will have a car all ready for your ideal road trip.
Two components of the car that see considerable strain in colder temperatures are the battery and the cooling system.
You will want to make sure that these are working in tip-top conditions before setting out. Other systems that can suddenly give out include the spark plugs, cables, belts and hoses.