By: Todd Smekens
BLOG – After months of watching hurricane coverage on TV and with winter right around the corner, extreme weather conditions have likely been on your mind quite a bit. Depending on where you live, you may be wondering how you can prepare your vehicle to withstand whatever Mother Nature throws your way.
While you cannot always avoid a massive blizzard or being in the path of a big rainstorm, you can take proactive steps to ready your vehicle for extreme weather. Check out the following types of harsh weather and how to prepare for these conditions.
1. Purchase New Snow Tires
One of the most important things you can do to get your vehicle ready for winter is to purchase tires that can handle driving in the snow, as well as additional accessories like snow chains. If your existing tires are showing signs of wear, or if you have recently moved to a cold climate and need to prepare your car, you might want to check out the huge selection of tires available at TireBuyer.com.
The online retailer sells a number of brand-name tires, including Falkens, that can handle driving through snow and sleet with ease. For example, the Falken Ziex ZE950 A/S high-performance tire comes in a wide array of sizes and is a true all-season tire that has been tested in the snow.
Once you have your new tires, it’s also important to monitor their air pressure at least once a month during winter. As conditions become colder, tire pressure can drop to unsafe levels. That’s why you’ll want to take your vehicle in for a pre-winter checkup to ensure your battery is working at peak performance.
Likewise, if you’re able, park your car in a garage during winter, as this will help the battery last longer. You should also make sure your headlights and brake lights are in proper working order.
2. Check Your Fluids Routinely
If you live in an area of the country where heavy rains or hurricanes occur, it’s vital you get your car ready to withstand these ultra-harsh conditions. Because fuel and other necessities may be hard to find during a weather crisis, keep your gas tank full and the battery charged at all times. Keep some extra cans of gas on hand and ensure you always have a dependable supply.
As FOX News notes, checking your oil and other fluid levels, windshield wipers and headlights is also crucial; after all, the last thing you want is to experience a breakdown on the side of the road during a massive downpour. As a side note, also be mindful of how you park your car in areas that are prone to be hit by huge rainstorms.
If you have a garage, back into it so you can exit the garage more easily. Additionally, cover your vehicle with a heavy tarp and secure any heavy objects in the garage; this way, if it floods, these objects won’t float around and become wedged under your vehicle or fall on top of your car.
3. Avoid Driving Through the Mud
As Your Mechanic notes, one of the best ways to deal with muddy terrain is to avoid it as much as possible. While off-road vehicles with huge tires can handle driving through mud, most sedans tend to falter in mud more than two inches deep. When you come across some exceptional muddy conditions, see if you can locate a different route altogether.
If this is impossible, maneuver your vehicle through the mud using four-wheel drive, as this will give your vehicle the maximum amount of torque it needs to withstand these conditions. Additionally, as Gizmodo notes, carry a tow strap and a couple of D-shackles in your trunk. This way, if you get stuck in the mud, you’ll be prepared with the equipment you need to be towed out by a good Samaritan. Plus, you can also use these tools to help others in need.