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Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter

car_driving_in_snow_w640     It's essential to prepare your car for winter. Assembling an emergency kit is one of many steps to take in getting ready for the lower temperatures. Home security is not the only type of security you need to be worried about in the winter, since it's likely that your family will be taking a number of trips in the car. Maintain your car's performance According the Federal Emergency Management Agency, there are a few essential liquid levels to consider - antifreeze, oil, and brake and windshield washer fluid and fuel. Antifreeze is important to keep your engine cool in low temperatures when water isn't sufficient. Remember to keep an eye on your oil, as it's more likely to congeal in the winter. Depending on your environment, you may have to switch your oil. The Department of Motor Vehicles suggested checking your vehicle's manual or asking the manufacturer if you're hesitant on your oil's performance in the winter. Brake fluid is critical year-round, but less-than-ideal road conditions make it even more significant to maintain. Windshield washer fluid will be a welcome feature during and after snowfall. Keeping a full tank may require a lot of time and effort, but having a tank at capacity will help keep the lines from freezing. Check your car's battery to ensure that it will perform properly in lower temperatures. The DMV pointed out that the cold will decrease the battery's capacity. Therefore, inspect the battery, terminals, cables and fluid. You'll want to take a look at your brake pads and make sure there's no significant wear. The icy road conditions will require the pads to be in good condition. Hazard lights and blinkers become even more critical during low visibility conditions, so check every bulb for safety. You may also want to stock up on emergency triangles or flares in case your car breaks down. Consider purchasing winter tires for your vehicle. Though they're costly, they're worth the investment. Tires that don't have enough traction can cause your car to slide and struggle on hills and turns. There are many steps in winterizing a vehicle. But it's an important annual practice that can help protect you and your loved ones. Knowing how to properly maintain your car and understanding the importance of doing so will ensure that you have a safe and happy holiday season.

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