Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cold weather driving

Are you ready for cold weather? I think I am... well, I mean I am, mentally. Physically, there are still some things to do. The house is in pretty good condition and today we'll do some clean up in the garden and yard. We won't get it all done because things are still growing, but we can get a good start on it.

One of the things I usually put off until the last minute is getting the car ready for winter.

Here, where freezing weather is a daily fact of life during the winter months, we need our vehicles to be trustworthy. We need to start with an oil change, and have them check the levels of antifreeze, transmission fluid and windshield washing fluid. (There's nothing worse than driving behind a mud slinging truck in freezing weather and not being able to keep the windshield clean!)

Air pressure in the tires need to be checked and checked often during cold weather. Don't check them while the tires are cold, though, because the pressure will measure lower than it will be when the tires are warmed up. Wait until you've driven a few minutes.

Beyond the car itself, if you live in cold country, be sure to have a kit for yourself and passengers. Blankets, of course, but also a good shovel, snow brush, ice scraper, flashlight, flares, first-aid kit,  jumper cables, and a fully charged cellphone and a cellphone charger. You could also add a power bar of some kind and a container half full of water, although it may be frozen solid. If it isn't, you can drink it and if it is, you can dump it and use the container to gather fresh snow, if that's your situation. Snow will melt faster than a clump of ice.

It makes sense to be prepared, no matter how easy you think the trip will be. Things happen. Yeah, I'm talking to me, too. And I WILL do it. Right now.


  1. We are moving to an area that is prone to snow in the winter. I have lived in an area where I have never seen a drop of snow in my life. It will be a big change, and your advice is helpful! Thank you.

  2. Allison, be sure to keep an emergency kit in your car when you drive in cold weather. Snow isn't hard to drive in after you get used to it, but if you're not used to it, it can be treacherous. If it snows a lot, you can get stuck in it, just like you can get stuck in mud. has a good article on how to drive in snow, but the best way to learn it is to practice in a safe place. Don't take it lightly; it can be very dangerous.