Checklist & Tips for Winter Road Trips

It is important for drivers to properly maintain their vehicles and to take necessary precautions before hitting the road for the winter season. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommended that drivers take the following precautions:

Get the car serviced now

  • Get a tune-up and other routine maintenance
  • Have your entire vehicle inspected for any leaks, bad hoses, or other needed parts, repairs, and replacements.

Check the battery (when the temperature drops so does the battery power)

  • Have a mechanic check the battery for sufficient voltage.
  • Have the charging system and belts checked.
  • If necessary, replace the battery or make system repairs (such as tightening the battery cable connections).

Check the Cooling System

  • Make sure there's enough coolant in the vehicle and that it's designed to withstand the winter temperatures.
  • A 50/50 mix of coolant to water is sufficient for most regions of the country.
  • Have the cooling system checked for leaks.
  • Have the cooling system flushed if not done so in several years.

Fill the Windshield Washer Reservoir

  • Completely fill the vehicle's reservoir.
  • Use high-quality, "no-freeze" fluid.
  • Buy extra fluid to keep in the vehicle.

Check the Windshield Wipers and Defrosters

  • Make sure that windshield wipers work properly and replace worn out wipers.
  • Check the window defrosters (front and rear) to see that it works properly.

Inspect the Tires

  • Check the tire pressure and make sure to fill each tire to the vehicle manufacturer's suggestion PSI (pounds per square inch).
  • Keep tire pressure gauge in the vehicle at all times.
  • Look closely at the thread of the tires and replace if uneven or wear or insufficient thread. Thread should be at least 1/16 of an inch or greater on all tires.

Source: http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/2012/Consumer+Advisory:+NHTSA+Reminds+Consumers+to+Check+Their+Vehicles+Prior+to+Winter+Road+Trips

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