Whether you’re shopping for a vehicle right now at a new or used car dealer, or you have a vehicle that you’ve owned and loved for many years, now is the time to consider the months ahead. Even though it feels like we just left summer behind, and autumn has barely unfurled its cool, pumpkin-spiced blankets around us, winter is just around the corner. Recent reports of a polar vortex forming at the North Pole would indicate this is going to be an especially cold winter too, so you’d better prepare.
If you’re in Florida or Arizona, then you probably don’t need to worry too much about this, and you can go straight to hell with your lack of snow and ice (though, judging by your summer temperatures, you’re already there). For the rest of us, however, this is the perfect time to start getting our vehicles ready for the cold and slushy roads stretched out ahead of us. Fortunately for you, your old Uncle Von Gourdboddum is here to help you out…
Check Your Various Fluids
The first thing you’ll want to do is check your fluids to make sure they’re ready for winter. I’d suggest getting an oil change and checking your antifreeze and radiator fluid. You’ll want to make sure that everything is ready for the cold weather – check your windshield wiper fluid while you’re at it and fill it with something that has an anti-freezing agent.
Next up, you’ll want to check your personal fluids too. I know that sounds weird, but if you’ve ever been stuck because the lock on your car door has frozen and you can’t get a key into it, then you’ll know how important this is. Relieving yourself on the door lock is the quickest and easiest way to thaw it out, so I strongly recommend you drink two cups of coffee before every long car trip this winter. You’ll thank me later.
Get Your Vehicle Ready
Now is the perfect time to have winter tires put on your car, especially if you live somewhere with a lot of snow and ice. Even if you don’t get much snow, but the temperature gets really cold, winter tires are designed to work better when the temperature drops. If you have a Wrangler, then this is a great time to remove the doors and the roof and go ahead and fold down the windshield. I know what you’re thinking, “It’s 4 degrees outside – I’ll freeze to death!” You’re right, but that’s what you deserve for buying a Jeep.
This is also the best time to check the heater in your car to make sure it’s working – both your HVAC system and any seat heating you have. You should be able to toast up a grilled cheese sandwich on your car’s heating vents – if not, then you need to take it to a service center today to get that fixed. Similarly, if your car seats don’t give your bare skin third-degree burns, then it’s time to have those looked at too.
Have Emergency Supplies
Having your car break down and leave you stranded overnight is a disaster at the best of times – during the freezing temperatures of winter; however, it can be catastrophic. You must have fully-stocked emergency supplies to make sure you can survive if you find yourself in a bad situation, especially if you’re going for a long road trip or driving through some wilderness where you might not be found for a while. You should have several blankets, a change of warm clothes, a backup pair of shoes, and a fully stocked first aid kit.
It’s also a good idea to have a large hunting knife, materials to make a fire, and an emergency camping stove. Have a game plan and always invite extra people with you on any trip you take – decide ahead of time on whom you plan to eat first in an emergency. If it’s just family and friends, then invite along someone you don’t like that much – this is a great time to have your son’s annoying friend who won’t shut up about Fortnite come along for a family vacation. Yes, you’ll have to listen to his obnoxious blathering; but if you find yourself stranded in a crisis situation, then at least you won’t starve.
Editor’s Note: Some of this information is definitely useful, but we have concerns about other suggestions. Who bothers with wiper fluid before winter sets in? Also, we’d suggest inviting grandma or grandpa along on a road trip for the aforementioned reason – everybody loves jerky, right? Thank you.