How to Winterize Your Car and Conserve Your Budget
Winter time is quickly approaching with temperatures already well below freezing in different parts of the country. If you drive a vehicle, then it becomes especially important during the winter months. In preparation of the weather, it’s important to winterize your car. When you take care of your vehicle, then it will take care of you. But with the holiday season underway and the New Year on the horizon, staying on budget is important. Below are some budget conscious things that you can do to prepare.
If you live in a cold climate, then defrosting your windows is something that is constantly needed. This process prolongs your commute and is essential to being able to properly see out of your windows. Having a windshield wiper fluid that will melt the ice for you can help to cut down on the amount of time it may take. These fluids are sold at most stores with an automotive isle. You can also make a de-icer at home. According to the DIY Network, you can mix one-part water, two parts 70% isopropyl alcohol, and a few drops of dish detergent in a bottle.
Another great tip is to fill a sock with cat litter and place it inside of your vehicle. You can place the sock anywhere in the vehicle, but placing it right beneath the windshield will be the most effective. The litter will help to absorb the moisture and cause less frost to be present on your window. Consider using a non-clumping litter as it will absorb more moisture than a clumping one.
Good tires are very important for the safety of you and your vehicle. Tread depth is an indication of whether or not your tires will need to be changed for the winter. Usually a tire depth meter is used to measure this, but if you do not have that, you can simply use a coin. According to Tire Rack, you can do this by placing a penny into several tread grooves with the Lincoln Memorial top facing downward. If the tread covers the top completely then your tires are at the minimum recommended depth for winter driving. Also, remember to check your tire pressure and ensure that tires are inflated to the proper psi. Some places provide free air, and others may charge a small fee.
The likelihood of a hazard occurring increases in the cases of inclement weather. You want to be sure that you are equipped with the necessary items to handle being stuck on the side of the road if it were to happen. Keep a heavy blanket in your vehicle; using a blanket that you rarely use at home will save you money. Some additional things to keep in your car include jumper cables, flashlight and batteries, non-perishable food & beverage, and a first aid kit. All of these items can be found for an inexpensive price. Also, keep cat litter or sand in your vehicle. This will help in the event of your vehicle getting stuck in snow. If this occurs, you can put an ample amount of litter/sand in front of and behind tires to provide traction.