How To Get Your Car Ready for a Winter Snowstorm

Cars ready for a winter snowstorm

There are some groups of persons who are always happy with a snow storm, for example skiers. However being stuck in a snow storm is not a funny experience for others.

If you fall in the category of people who would rather not be stuck in the snow but still realize that it could happen, this article is for you. There are steps that you have to take to be always prepared so as not to be too distraught by the situation.

An incident occurred sometime in 2014, icy roads across the Atlanta area resulted in 1200 accidents and highway travelers were stuck on the road in freezing temperatures for up to 18 hours.

Sometimes, incidents like this can have people out in the cold for more than a day. So you see that is not wrong to be prepared in case you are caught in such an occurrence.

The question that will be top most on your mind right now is what can I do and how can I be prepared. Have no worries as that is what we are going to discuss right now.


Getting A Vehicle Ready for Winter Snowstorm

1. Stock Up adequate Supplies in Your vehicle

It will be so much better if you get rid of unnecessary stuff from the back seat and cargo area of your car. Some items that you should ensure are always in your car include a first aid kit, blanket, water, gloves, and dry packaged snacks.

During winter, ensure that your car is stocked with, boots, a compact snow shovel, extra clothes, a long-handled snow brush and ice scraper, beverages that won’t freeze as fast as water such as sports drink, a portable jump pack so that you will be able to jump-start your car battery as well as a portable 12-volt air compressor.

It is also important that you have a day’s worth of prescription medication just in case you are not able to make it home in time for them. Let’s not also forget wet wipes, you need those for personal cleanliness.
These preparations should not just be for yourself, include supplies for your family members and pets if you have any.

Another very important preparation is with regards to your cellphone. It will not be cool if you are not able to contact or reach anybody on the account of the battery of your cellphone being low. To avoid that, ensure that your phone is fully charged before make any long journey in the winter.

ALSO READ: How To Drive Safely in Heavy Snow

2. Ensure that Your Fuel Tank or Car Battery is at Least Half-Full

If you are driving with an almost empty tank in extreme cold, it can result in the freezing of your fuel lines. The reason for this is because water settles at the base of gas station storage tanks and gets mixed up when a tanker truck refills them. This trace amounts are then transferred into your fuel tank.

In some cases, especially if the fuel tank is metal, moisture can collect in the interior surface. This is as a result of temperature changes. What happens is that the more surfaces are exposed, condensation can get into the fuel and freeze.

Although modern ethanol blends which is actually a federal requirement for all pump gas can reduce this, the best way to handle it is to make sure that your tank is at least half-filled so that any water doesn’t condense.

It is also advised that you run the car for about 20 minutes per hour for heat. But while you are running the car bear it in mind that you have to maximize the fuel that you have available.

It is also important that you check the tailpipe from time to time to make sure that it is clear and that carbon monoxide gas is not getting into your vehicle.

Now let us take a look at Electric Cars. They are likely to lose capacity in the cold. EVs that are left unplugged overnight can lose up to 5 percent of power. With regards to cabin heating, EVs with heat pumps use up less power than resistive heaters.

Tesla vehicles came up with a “Camp mode” which allows the car to run on low power with the cabin heat. According to some reports this take up to 15 percent of the battery over duration of eight hours.

No matter the car you are using, you will have to conserve when you are stuck so that you can have power for longer.

ALSO SEE: Symptoms & Causes of a Seized Engine

3. Make Your Cabin as Warm As Possible

The cold will not relent just because you wish it to. You need to do all that you can do to ensure that any drafty gap is covered. You can make use of blankets, towels or any material available.

You can also close off windows and all the unused sections so that you can get as much heat as possible. Remember that the cold air from outside can still find its way into the car so you can’t take any chances.

Sharing a sleeping bag also helps to generate heat, but if that option is not available for you, you can take the other precautions that are being discussed in this article.

ALSO: Protecting Your Car During Smokey Weather & Extreme Heat

4. Stay Close To Your Car

Except in situations where you are near an exit, or you must use nearby services, it is advised that you don’t leave your car.

There has been an instance of where a man was found dead after leaving his car in a snowstorm. Chances are that he got disoriented while trying to find his way home.

When you leave your car while stuck in a snow storm you are putting yourself in harm’s way. There is also a high chance of damage being done to your property.

More so, when the road is cleared and traffic starts moving again, your vehicle that you abandoned will cause issues for other travelers.

5. Do not be in a hurry when Movements starts again

While it is true that all you’ll want to do is to zoom away as soon as the road is cleared, resist the urge to do that. This is so that you don’t get into any situation that you’d rather not be in.

Keep your hands firmly on your steering wheel and drive gently. If your car skids, calmly take your foot off the accelerator and don’t jam the brakes. Keep your eyes on where you want to go and turn the car in that direction.

Do not drive too fast and do well to keep a good distance between you and the car in front of you.

It might be difficult to remember all these when you are actually in the situation, however it will do you a lot of good if you actually take note of these.

SEE THIS: Car Driving Tips For Beginners & New Driving License Owners

6. Be Prepared

You must have heard some persons say “better safe than sorry”, well it applies in this case. If you can avoid traveling long distances when it is snowing hard, please do.

However, this is not an option for some people who do not have any choice but to hit the road. In that case, be adequately prepared. This goes beyond ensuring that there is enough gas in your car.

Replace wiper blades, fill up your windshield washer reservoir, and fit your car with winter tires to ensure that you have good traction when on the road.