Traveling is a huge part of the holidays and a lot of people hit the road for long trips to visit family and friends. With the Winter quickly approaching, it is important to prep our cars for the season change to prevent damage, breakdowns and also assure we are prepared if something does happen. I know the last thing I want to worry about during the holiday season is car trouble or being stranded on the side of the road.
The International Carwash Association (ICA) has created these five tips for getting our cars ready for blistering Winter season.
1. Wash and wax your car at a professional car wash – It may seem counter-intuitive to get your car nice and shiny for the slushy weather, but a thorough wash can remove harmful compounds that may cause damage when mixed with road salt. Experts from the International Carwash Association also recommend a coat of wax for an extra layer of protection from the elements.
- Professional car washes can also save up to 20 percent of the amount of water you’d use by washing your car at home. They do this by treating and reusing their water, rather than releasing toxic chemicals and grime into the storm drains, which can often occur with pavement washing. Check out www.washwithwatersavers.com to see how professional car washes save water and help prevent pollution.
2. Check fluids – Check your coolant to make sure you have enough, as you’ll be left without heat if you don’t. Consult your owner’s manual to find the correct blend if you need to add more. It’s never a bad idea to keep extra coolant in your trunk in case of an emergency. Don’t forget about extra wiper fluid, either. I suggest de-icer wiper fluid for the winter.
3. Check your wipers – When sloppy weather hits, you’ll want to make sure you have strong wiper blades to see through the elements. Checking your wiper blades for wear and replacing them if needed can prevent huge visibility headaches once snow and sleet arrive. (I always forget this one and my wipers end up being trashed after the first bad storm)
4. Test your battery – The next time you have the car in for an oil change, ask the mechanic to test your battery to make sure it can provide enough starting power once the temperature plummets.
5. Winter emergency kit – In addition to keeping a scraper and brush in your car, it’s a good idea to include a few provisions in case you get stranded. Pack extra blankets, hats and gloves, high-energy snacks like granola bars, drinking water and a first-aid kit. (Enter to win a Winter Emergency Kit below)
Take the time to check your car and get it ready for the treacherous weather and road conditions and be prepared for the worse.
The International Carwash Association is giving one lucky Nifty Mom reader a Winter Emergency Kit that includes:
- 32 oz. WaterSavers branded water bottle
- Carabiner key chain
- Medium flashlight
- 2 heavy duty AA batteries
- 19-piece first aid kit
- Survival tool
- Pocket knife
- Emergency poncho
- Emergency blanket
- 2 tea light candles
- Safety matches
- Survival instruction card
- Mesh sack
No purchase necessary to enter. The giveaway is open to US residents 18+. Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST December 9th, 2012. Winner will be selected via random.org and contact by email. Winner then has 48 hours to reply to confirm their prize or a new winner will be picked. If you have any issues entering or have any questions, please email me at contact (at) niftymom(dot)com.
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I am working with the International Carwash Association to share these tips for getting your car ready for winter. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.