Although Rainey Blanchette understands most Americans have dealt with an unseasonably warm Autumn season, now is still the time for most of the country to prepare their vehicles for harsh winter conditions. As an automotive professional and enthusiast, Rainey Blanchette is often asked by friends and family to provide a checklist of things to do to prepare a car for the winter months. Today, Rainey Blanchette will provide that checklist for all in need of some auto advice.
Rainey Blanchette believes the fall is the ideal time for motorists to go the extra mile and add wax to their net car wash. Waxing and washing allows a motorist to get a clean look at any scratches that should be addressed before winter. The biggest reason to address scratches ahead of winter is that the salt that is put on the roads in preparation for snow and icy conditions can cause any open scratches to rust. The waxing process acts as an additional layer of protection for a car’s paint job. There are plenty of affordable waxes available that will help ensure that road salt doesn’t rust a vehicle.
The most common step for motorists looking to winterize their vehicles is to check their tires. Snow chains are illegal in most states and are rarely a necessity. However, a pair of snow tires that are designed for four-wheel drive vehicles can be a true blessing for those who must drive in wintry conditions. For those who aren’t looking to spend the money on new tires, Rainey Blanchette recommends looking over the tires for any signs of deflation and loss of tread. Tires typically need more air when there’s a big shift in the outside temperature. Keeping tires properly inflated will help drivers save money at the pump and avoid headaches down the road. For those who don’t know the ideal pressure level of their tires, Rainey Blanchette suggests looking for a sticker on the inside of the driver-side door. It will usually provide guidance on exactly how inflated the tires should be. Most gas stations offer a complimentary air service for all vehicles.
Most drivers never read their owner’s manual, but Rainey Blanchette believes that they absolutely should! Most modern vehicles will automatically shift into four-wheel drive, but there are also plenty of cars that offer differential lockers that can offer a driver more traction on a slippery road. Understanding how to unlock more traction can make a huge difference if a driver finds themselves on a slick, dangerous road. Some traction settings can be turned on and off with the click of a button. Drivers should examine all settings before departing to ensure they didn’t turn a setting on or off accidentally.
Now is the time to make sure all routine maintenance on a vehicle is completed. Rainey Blanchette suggests everyone seeks out a mechanic they trust to not only perform a routine oil change but inspect whether a vehicle needs new brakes, belts, a battery, windshield wipers, etc. All fluids should be checked before the winter as well. There’s nothing worse than relying on washer fluid in an ice storm only to discover that a vehicle is running low. The wiper check is also critical as they may be tasked with not only moving water but moving ice and sleet as well. Damaged wipers won’t be able to provide the visibility a driver needs when battling the elements.
Finally, Rainey Blanchette suggests that every vehicle is equipped with an emergency kit. There are plenty of businesses that provide ready-to-go emergency kits, but it is also quite simple to put one together at home. Rainey Blanchette recommends that a kit features an ice scraper, blanket, water, jumper cables, water, flashlight, batteries and a first-aid kit. The hope is that no driver will be in a position where they need to utilize their emergency kit, but it can save a life should a motorist find themselves in a difficult position on a cold, wintry night.