How to Avoid a Winter Breakdown

Avoid Winter Breakdowns

Tips for staying safe during winter road trips

Few things are more aggravating than having your car break down on you – but having it fail in the winter is even worse. Fortunately, there areways to prevent this from happening.
Regular Service
An issue that you readily ignored in the summer could come back to haunt you during the long, winter months. Your vehicle experiences extra strain when the temperatures are lower, so a simple problem can swell into a big one quite quickly.
Have your mechanic change your oil, inspect your lights and indicators and top off all fluids. Dealerships often have winter specials running during these months, win-win!
Check Your Tires
Don’t just assume that your winter tires are properly inflated because you recently purchased them. Temperature has a profound effect on tire pressure, so it’s important that you check them often to ensure they don’t decompress to an unreasonable level.
Replace Your Wiper Blades
It’s not something you’ll naturally remember to replace, but having faulty wiper blades can clog up your windshield when it’s snowing out and force you to pull over. Consider switching your blades every year – in fact, twice per year may very well be your best option.
You should also switch to winter blades if your car currently uses summer windshield wipers. Winter blades are stronger and have a thick layer of rubber around them, so they can withstand the ice and snow much better.
Have Your Battery Tested   
        Generally speaking, batteries are more likely to die in colder weather, since your vehicle requires extra power in sub-zero temperatures. Batteries usually last around five years, so getting yours checked every winter after three years is a smart idea. If you want to play it safe, consider investing in a stand-alone unit that can jump-start your vehicle if there are no other cars around.
Clean Your Lights
Winter doesn’t just bring snow, but dirt and salt as well. As a result, your lights can get quite dirty. Clean them regularly to ensure you can see traffic clearly, and surrounding drivers can see you.
Pick Your Battles      
           You’re more likely to have your car breakdown or get into an accident when the weather is bad. Wait a day to run your errands or see your friend if it’s snowing hard or the roads haven’t been cleared. There’s no point in putting your life at risk.
Worst Case
If you’re unfortunate enough to actually have your car breakdown, it’s important that you stay as safe as possible until the problem has been resolved. Pull over to the side of the road where other cars can see you and you’re not surrounded by ice. If you have kids or other family members with you, make sure they’re warm (always pack extra blankets in your winter emergency kit).
Emergency Winter Driving Kit
Call Roadside Assistance if you don’t think you can fix the problem on your own.