Thursday, January 8, 2015

Preparing Your Vehicle for Winter Weather

Whether it's two feet of snow or a thin coat of ice, Winter weather can cause horrible driving conditions. In addition to having Lake of the Ozarks car insurance, we have put together some tips to help prepare your vehicle for that nasty Winter weather.  If unexpected Winter weather hit today, would you be ready?

Before Winter Weather Hits

You never know when bad weather is going to hit.  You can check the weather channel and see the forecast, but that can change from day to day.  Now is the time to prepare your car for possible Winter weather!
  • Good traction is very important to have when driving during the Winter, so be sure to check the tread on your tires. A good way to tell if they're too worn is by placing a penny in the tread and if you can see all of Lincoln's head, they need to be replaced. 
  • You should also check your tire pressure weekly throughout the Winter season. As the temperature drops, your tires start to lose pressure. 
  • Check to make sure your interior and exterior lights are working and that the headlights are properly aimed. 
  • Make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition to handle snow and ice. If bad weather starts after you're already on the move, you want to make sure your wipers can remove the snow from your view. 
  • Be sure to use windshield washer fluid that is meant for cold temperatures. You don't want it to freeze on your windshield or freeze as its being released. 
  • Make sure your heaters and defrosters are all working properly. 
  • Check your antifreeze level regularly and aim for a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water. 
  • Change your oil because clean engine oil will help protect your motor when its started in the cold. 
  • Have your battery checked for optimum performance because cold weather is hard on batteries. 
  • Get your brakes checked because the braking system is the most important safety item in your vehicle. 
  • Have the exhaust system checked to ensure there are no carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during the Winter when all windows are closed. 
  • Keep your gas tank at least half way full at all times. You do not want to run out of gas when the temperature is below freezing! 
  • Always keep an ice scraper and a shovel in your car. 
  • You should prepare an emergency kit that includes warm gloves and a blanket. 
  • Get your car waxed to prevent corrosion from road salt and also wash it regularly to get rid of any salt buildup. 

When Winter Weather Hits

Many preventative measures for your car can be taken before the Winter weather even arrives. However, there are still precautions for you to take after the weather actually hits. Use these tips to stay safe on the road this Winter! 
  • Plan your driving route ahead of time and be sure to tell someone your plan. 
  • Avoid quick stops, turns or lane changes that could send you skidding across icy roads. 
  • Always drive with your lights on during bad weather, even if it's not dark out. 
  • Clear the snow or ice off of your car each time you drive to ensure maximum visibility. Be sure to scrape off your lights, roof and hood as well. You don't want a slab of snow falling down and covering your windshield! 
  • Leave extra room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you to allow enough stopping time on slippery roads. 

Auto accidents increase during the Winter when snow and ice created dangerous driving conditions. Make sure your vehicle is properly insured before heading out on the road, especially during questionable weather conditions. Insure the Lake is here to take care of all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs. Contact us today at 573-348-2794 to make sure you have the coverage you need at the best possible rates!

Steve Naught, CIC

3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral

T: 573-348-2794
F: 573-348-0191