Seasonal Auto Maintenance

car insurance

Florida is the sunshine state, and we pride ourselves on our warm weather and mild winters. The thought of “winterizing” your vehicle may seem foreign to many Floridians, but for those traveling out of state or those who might experience below freezing temperatures, it’s important to take some precautions.

Here is a list of tips to get your car winter ready:

Get an Oil Change & Fluid Check

Getting your oil changed before any road trip is important. It is especially important if you’re headed to a colder climate because you may need a different type of oil. Either discuss this with a mechanic or review your owner’s manual.

Also, check the level of antifreeze in your car. You can find instructions in your owner’s manual, or have a mechanic do it for you. You’ll also want to buy windshield wiper fluid made for the winter. It will specify on the bottle. Normal windshield wiper fluid will freeze on contact with your windshield in low temperatures.

Check Your Tires

The tires you need will depend on the weather where you are traveling. If you’re likely to encounter lots of snow then you may want to invest in a set of snow tires. You may even want studded snow tires but those will depend on the state you travel to, as they may not be allowed.

If your vehicle has 4 wheel drive or if you aren’t likely to encounter lots of snow then make sure your current tires are in good condition. Check the tread of your tires. You can do the “Lincoln test” using a penny. Insert the penny into the tread of your tire head first. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head then your tires might be too worn.

Have Your Brakes & Battery Checked

You’ll want to make sure that your brakes are in good shape if you’ll be driving in icy conditions. Many auto mechanic shops will offer a free brake inspection.

They can also likely test your battery for free. Cold weather is hard on a car’s battery so you’ll want to make sure yours is in good shape. Have them check the battery connections to make sure they are tight and free of corrosion.

Know How to De-Ice Your Car

Scraping an icy windshield in freezing temperatures is definitely not a fun way to start the day. There are plenty of home remedies to help you de-ice your car including mixing 1/3 cup of water with 2/3 cup of rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. Then spray the solution on your frozen windshield. Another trick is to use a straw to blow hot air on a frozen door handle. There is also the option of turning your car on, and cranking up the heat and defroster.

Whatever you do just don’t pour hot water on your windshield. This could cause your windshield to crack. Either use one of the methods above or invest in a sturdy ice scrapper.

Pack an Emergency Kit

Bad weather increases your chances of getting stuck, and the last thing you want is to be stuck without supplies. Consider placing a winter emergency kit in your vehicle. You can order a ready-made kit online, or here is a handy checklist to use to make your own.

Review Your Auto Insurance Policy

If you plan to rent a car for a winter road trip, make sure you review your rental car insurance coverage before hitting the road. Also, snow and ice can make for messy driving conditions so you’ll want to make sure you are properly insured even for your own car.

auto insuranceAs always, Synergy strives to provide our clients with important information to help make their travels happy and safe!

Safety behind the wheel is crucial. In case of emergency, always have the right documents on hand. Our Auto Accident Workbook has all the important information needed to file a claim, so you can take the guesswork out of your coverage. Click the image to get your copy today, and keep it on file in your vehicle!