Does your family debate the official start of the holiday season?
For some, it starts as early as the first signs of Halloween. For others, Thanksgiving is the kick-off. Retailers might argue the holidays actually begin in July when Christmas seems to hit store shelves. Wherever you fall on the spectrum of holiday traditions, one thing is certain – with the holidays come lots of trips in the car. Trips to the store, trips to the mall; trips to the airport, across town or across the state.
While we may not all agree on the official start and stop of the holiday season, we can agree that if winter hasn’t hit yet, it is just around the corner. Which is why the holidays are actually the best time to think about getting your car ready for the wintery weather and road conditions that are sure to come.
To help you out, here’s a quick winter essentials checklist for your vehicle.
Top 5 Car Essentials Checklist for Winter
#1Check your tires!
Winter is upon us and that means dicey road conditions are to be expected. So, how are your tire treads and is the tire pressure at the right level? We all know bald or tread-worn tires can be dangerous on wet roads, but the cold weather can also cause tires to underinflate, regardless of age. Low tire pressure is a safety concern as underinflated tires can increase braking time and skid more easily on wet pavement. This is why we always check the tire condition and air pressure on every vehicle that comes into Sherwood Auto Repair for service.
#2 Test your battery!
There are not many things worse than discovering your car battery dead on a cold winter morning, except possibly being stranded somewhere far from home with a dead battery. Don’t let this happen to you! Have your vehicle’s battery tested – doesn’t take long – and replace your battery if the life is running out.
#3 Take your car or truck in for its regular service.
This isn’t just a winter checklist item, it’s what you should be doing anyway. If it’s been a little too long since your last service or tune-up – we know, life gets busy – be sure to get it done sooner than later so your car is in tip-top shape for the holiday season and the winter months to follow. At the very least, make sure your vital fluids are clean and at optimum levels.
#4 Carry Traction Devices!
We may not get a lot of snow here in the valley, but you don’t have to travel far to find wintery conditions and storms do sneak up on us. It’s always better to be prepared, rather than scramble at the last minute to find the right traction devices for your tires or worse, find yourself stranded somewhere, possibly even in a ditch. Be sure you also know how to put the traction devices on your tires. It may not be much fun, but if you know what you are doing, it’s a whole lot easier!
#5 Keep an emergency kit in your car.
A basic kit should include a flashlight with spare batteries, jumper cables, and road flares. Your winter emergency kit should also include a windshield scraper and brush, traction mats, tire chains (see #4!), small tarp, and a snow shovel – especially if you are headed to the mountains! For winter driving in general, whether you are simply going about town or hitting the open road, we like to also bring a warm blanket, snacks, water, gloves, boots, a first-aid kit and a charger for the mobile phone.
So, there you have it – a simple check-list to make your winter driving a little safer this holiday season and into the new year.
If you’re in the spirit of giving, this is also a great list of gifts anyone would appreciate for their own vehicle. Although we might not be able to gift wrap a tune-up, we can at least help you check off your holiday to-do list.
Contact Sherwood Auto Repair today and let us take care of your car during this busy time of year – we love helping our customers stay safe on the road!