winterize your carDon’t hit the road without a jack or until your car is ready for winter weather. There are specific emergency items to store in your car during the winter. There are also maintenance checks to keep you safe, your vehicle warm and your engine running. Follow these tips and find more winter preparedness information at Ready.gov.

1. Check or have a mechanic check items, such as:
• Antifreeze levels – ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
• Battery and ignition system – should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
• Exhaust system – check for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
• Heater and defroster – ensure they work properly.
• Lights and flashing hazard lights – check for serviceability.
• Windshield wiper equipment – repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.
• Install good winter tires – Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.

2. Add winter items to the emergency kits in your vehicles:
• A shovel.
• Windshield scraper and small broom.
• Water.
• Snack food.
• Extra hats, socks and mittens.
• Necessary medications.
• Blanket(s).
• Tow chain or rope.
• Road salt and sand.

3. Don’t get frozen out or your vehicle:
• Door locks can freeze in cold weather and break your key if you try to force them open. The old fashion cure was warm water, but what if you’re not at home and don’t have any warm water nearby? Discount stores, auto parts stores, and even hardware stores sell glycerin you can use for de-icing. Think about where you keep it, however, because if the de-icer is in the glove box of your frozen-shut car, then it won’t help you any. Stock a tube at home in the garage and also in your desk at work. That way whenever your locks freeze up, you’ll be able to solve the problem.

The Shingletown Medical Center wishes you a Warm and Happy 2017!