Winter is here and with it comes Pennsylvania’s notoriously unpredictable weather patterns. Winter blizzards, sleet and icy driving conditions are all part of what we put up with to live in this otherwise idyllic part of the country. As the mercury dips, there are concrete steps you should take to keep you and your import car safe in the PA winter.
Why You Should Always Have Adequate Gas in the Tank
Common sense dictates that if you’re heading out onto the roads during frigid, slick winter weather you should have a full tank of gas. Who wants to battle the elements to fill up? It’s better to do so when you know snow and ice is on the way. Similarly, who wants to run out of gas when the wind is howling and the temperatures are in the single digits? There’s another less-obvious reason why you should always have at least a 1/2 tank of gas in winter conditions. In cold weather, condensation can build up in an empty or half-empty tank. This condensation then drips, falling into the bottom of your tank and end up in your car’s fuel lines. What happens when water is exposed to freezing temperatures? Precisely. Condensation can freeze and block the flow of fuel to your engine, thus causing your car to stall.
Check These Critical Vehicle Systems
Beyond keeping an eye on your fuel gauge, in winter you should also watch these critical components that play a huge role in keeping you and your passengers safe:
- Wiper blades (if they streak when you use them, it’s time for replacements)
- Antifreeze ratio (it should be a 60/40 coolant/water ratio)
- Battery charge (when in doubt, it’s time for a new battery)
- Defroster and heater (have a professional make sure these critical winter components are working properly)
- Tires (check for adequate tread and inflation)
Essentials to Keep in Your Car for Inclement Winter Weather
Even if you are driving with a full tank of gas, brand new winter tires and 100% concentration on the road and surrounding drivers, there are still variables beyond your control that can cause you to become stranded in the cold. Zero visibility due to the weather, careless drivers, wildlife bounding into your path, driving over a hidden patch of black ice or driving over a sharp object and experiencing a tire blowout. These situations can leave you stranded on the side of the road. If you do become stranded, you’ll be glad you’ve equipped your car with the following:
- Emergency kit
- Extra essential medication
- Ice scraper
- Jumper cables
- Kitty litter (to help generate traction in slick conditions)
If you’ve procrastinated and are now wondering how to get your vehicle ready for winter as soon as possible, at Swedish Motors. We’ll evaluate your car thoroughly so you can hit the roads this season with the peace of mind that your vehicle is up for the challenge.