Well, I suppose the famous psychic, the late Sylvia Brown has already been replaced. I am going to start calling my web master “Sylvia Brown” or “Clair Voyant” (neither of which would he like since he’s a guy). This week’s blog topic “keep your car running in winter” could have been a premonition. We just had a sleet storm in North Texas and one would think that it’s the end of the world here. I locked up my truck’s 4-wheel drive and went to the park to make a sleet angel. Not as much fun as a snow angel, but hey, we work with what we’re given. Not all vehicles are created equal when it comes to winter driving. And vehicles equipped with all-wheel drive have a distinct advantage in this regard. In other words…eat my slush, suckers. Sylvia Brown grew up in the midwest (Kansas City) which is one thing we have in common. Both of us grew up learning how to drive in this kind of weather.
After the slushy sleet angel event, my parents and I were having breakfast at a local diner. I was eavesdropping on the retired postal workers in the booth behind me. They were comparing crazy weather stories and talking about how to keep your car running in winter. Again, it couldn’t have been better timing. I wonder if they noticed that I was taking notes.
One important item that you want to make certain is in good working condition is your battery. I just had an incident on Wednesday where my car wouldn’t start. I had just purchased a new battery, so I knew that couldn’t be the problem. But this time it was the starter. It was a cold and rainy day. But, I was thanking my lucky stars that it was daylight and I was in a well-lit, heavily populated place at the time. Plus, I’m in Texas…where you will always find people with good old fashioned manners willing to help you out. If you are a woman in distress, not to worry. Every serial killer will come out of the woodwork to help you. The starter was something that couldn’t have been detected. But, remember to make sure your battery terminals and connections are free of corrosion.
Keep your windshield clean and clear. Replace your windshield wiper blades, if needed and keep your wiper fluid reservoir topped up. Also, make sure your defroster is working properly.
Don’t forget to check your tire pressure. Your tires lose 1 pound per square inch whenever the temperature drops 10 degrees. Properly inflated tires help with better traction. Also make sure your tires have adequate tread. This will help in snow and ice. If not, you will need to consider replacing them with your Christmas money. And, NO you can’t just “comb” the tread over the bald spots…God knows I’ve tried.
And remember, engine oil tends to thicken as it gets colder. Make sure when you have your oil changed, that you have the best viscosity to keep your engine well lubricated. Switch to a thinner, less viscous oil during the colder months.
This is also an imperative time to check and possiblly flush and replace your antifreeze. It should be mixed with water, 50/50. Use a brand that won’t attract animals. I’ve lost a dog from drinking antifreeze. It’s a bad way to go, and I’m sorry to bring you down.
Keep the gas tank full and keep an emergency winter care kit in your car. Jumper cables, flares, Jack Daniels, money to call and order a pizza, cell phone charger, blanket, water, ice scraper, a small bag cat litter, a cat and a tool kit.
Until next week…
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
Keep Your Car Running in Winter – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com