Picture this: you walk out to your car early in the morning after a night of subzero temperatures. You scrape off the ice covering your car and can see your breath as you take out your keys to unlock the door. Opening the car door with a gloved hand, you sit inside and twist your key in the ignition only to find… your battery is dead. Now, you’ll almost certainly be late for work after you either jump start the battery or just call an Uber.
You don’t want to have trouble starting your car in the morning or, worst of all, get stranded in some parking lot by yourself in the freezing cold. So, the best way to avoid these situations from happening is to prepare for them ahead of time!
Prepare your vehicle for the upcoming freezing temperatures with these helpful tips:
Replace your battery.
If it’s been a while since you’ve switched out your existing battery for a new one, now is a good time to consider doing so. Low temperatures often cause batteries to produce less current, making it more difficult for them to start after hours of sitting in the cold. This problem only gets worse as the battery gets older, so make sure you replace your battery if it’s been in your vehicle for a little too long!
If you don’t want to spend the money on a brand new battery, another option is to get your battery inspected by a professional to ensure that it’s in good condition.
Use a thinner oil at your next oil change.
Your engine will typically function better in the winter if your oil is switched to a lower viscosity grade. In other words, the colder the weather, the thinner your oil should be. If you usually use 10W-30 (the W stands for “weight”), consider switching to 5W-30 during the wintertime to improve your engine’s performance. The lower weight number indicates less viscous oil, which allows it to move more smoothly through the engine.
You can discuss this with your auto service center to make sure you’re getting the best option for your specific vehicle.
Review your car insurance policy.
There are over 150,000 crashes annually due to icy roads in the United States alone, and 17% of all vehicle crashes occur in winter conditions. Unfortunately, many people do not know how to drive properly when winter weather hits. This becomes a huge issue when a winter storm comes through during a work week as not everyone has the option to avoid the roads by simply working from home.
Because of this increased risk of an accident happening, be sure to review your car insurance policy to verify your limits. Do you know what your deductible is? Do you have coverage for a rental vehicle if your car takes a few days to be repaired? Who should you call if you need roadside assitance? If your answer to any of these questions is “I don’t know,” call your agent for a breakdown of your policy. They’ll be happy to help you!
Put together a winter safety kit.
Whether you’re going on a road trip or driving to the grocery store, carry these items in your trunk in case of an emergency:
- Snacks and water
- Blanket and/or sleeping bag
- Winter gear such as a warm hat, gloves, scarf, boots and a coat
- First aid kit
- Ice scraper
Most of these items can be used year-round if you get stranded waiting for roadside assistance. However, keeping a blanket and warm clothes in the trunk could save you from frosbite, pneumonia, or even death. Keeping warm is essential in the freezing cold, and you cannot always rely on your vehicle to provide heat when you need it the most.
Call Risk Averse Insurance in Media, PA to get a quote on a personal or business car insurance policy.
Risk Averse Insurance is an independent insurance agency in Delaware County that specializes in providing high-quality insurance products at an affordable price.