With the first day of autumn upon us, along with tonight’s harvest moon, we leave summer behind as we hurtle towards another winter. It’s time to start thinking about the steps we need to take to prepare our cars, and ourselves, for the winter ahead of us.
Learn to check the INDOT site for real time traffic conditions
The Indiana Department of Transportaton (INDOT) has a website that can tell you about current reported accidents and road issues you may face on your journey. Learn to check this before you leave the house-- it can give you a massive heads up about what routes to avoid.
Build an emergency kit
This can be a fun project for the whole family to get involved with: going to a Dollar store and shopping for items for an emergency kit, in case your vehicle gets stranded on the road for a few hours.
In addition to the practical items you should buy at a proper hardware or car store, like a first aid kit, jumper cables, a tire inflator, a small toolbox, and a solar or hand-cranked flashlight, your family could also gather up some items from home (emergency clothes, a few old blankets and towels, a sandbag in case you get stuck in snow-- dirt’s free, but when the ground is frozen, it’s impossible to retrieve-- and a Flag for signalling. At the store, they could gather up some nonperishable foods, and enough bottled water to keep the family content.
Install All-Weather Floor Mats
Installing all-weather floor mats can help you avoid some of the cosmetic wear and tear of dragging the elements into the car with you on your shoes. And new mats are a good look, if the old ones are looking a bit dulled by time, anyways!
Get your car serviced
There’s so much you’ll want going in the wrong direction when bad weather finally catches up to you. A tune-up now can be the difference between smooth driving and half a night trapped in snow later.
The one that first comes to mind is the tires. You will need to decide if snow tires are a good idea given your drive and the local weather. But you will also need to look into how worn your current tires are, nd if your current tires can last through the winter ahead.
You should have the oil filter replaced, even if there’s still 1000 miles until the next one is due, because the season will keep you busy and you may lose track of it. When you do, have your auto mechanic also check your heat to make sure it is running well, the brakes for signs the pads need replacing or aren’t function at 1005, and the lights all over your car (external and internal), because it is important in bad weather to see and be seen.
You will also need to check the battery for corrosion, the belts and hoses for cracks, and finally, top up all the fluid levels in your car.
It’s a long list… and we can take care of it all for you at Mast Service Center in Etna Green. Just click on this embedded link to schedule an appointment with an auto mechanic who will look over preparing your car for winter with an eye for what may come up in the next few months. Or give us a call at (574) 907-0040 if you have questions. We’re located at 8608 North State Road 19, Etna Green, IN 46524, and it’s our pleasure to serve your needs.