Preventing Winter Breakdowns: Tips from a Mechanic in Minneapolis, MN

January 26, 2018 Published by

Even though we’re in the thick of winter now here in Minnesota, it’s never too late to make sure your car is capable of handling the wintery conditions. Whether it’s snow, ice or extreme cold, you should be prepared for just about anything between December and March in Minnesota.

There are a few things you can do to make sure your car will operate properly throughout the winter. Here are some strategies we recommend as a longtime mechanic in Minneapolis, MN.

Put together an emergency supply kit

This is the most important step you can take with regard to your personal safety for winter driving. Have a box full of winter supplies in your trunk. This box should include items such as a flashlight, road flares, a bag of salt or cat litter (for traction), ice scrapers, snacks, water, a battery-powered radio, extra gloves, thermal blankets and a first-aid kit. If you already have such a kit put together, make sure it is stocked with all the items you need before you hit the road.

Check antifreeze and coolant

Antifreeze keeps your engine from freezing during the coldest days of year. If your antifreeze levels are too low, you could be left stranded during the worst possible weather. You should be able to find kits at any auto supply store that make it easy for you to check your coolant and antifreeze levels. If you need to add any antifreeze to your vehicle, it’s quite simple to do so.

Check your tires

You should be sure your tires have an appropriate tread depth and enough air pressure before you head out into slippery, wintery road conditions. Good tires will ensure you stay on the road.

You can check your tire pressure with a simple gauge you can purchase at an auto supply store. Most gas stations also have stations where you can check your tire pressure and add more air if needed. It is quite inexpensive to add the air at these stations.

To check the tread on your tires, the best trick is to use a penny. Insert the penny into the tread, with the top of Lincoln’s head pointing toward the interior. If you are able to see Lincoln’s entire head, you must replace the tire to be able to drive safely (in slippery conditions or otherwise).

Use special winter windshield wiper fluid

Many people don’t realize that there are different types of windshield wiper fluid you can put into your car. The fluid you use in the spring, summer and fall will not help you much during the winter, as it could freeze quickly upon making contact with your windshield, only making visibility and safety worse. Therefore, use winter fluid during the winter months. This fluid has been designed to better loosen ice and snow from your windshield and to stand up to especially cold weather.

These are just a few tips to help keep you safe on the road this winter and to make sure your vehicle is up to the task of getting through the Minnesota cold. For more tips, contact a mechanic in Minneapolis, MN today.

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This post was written by Sharon Morgan

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