Winter is slowly creeping up on us and for most of the country that means cold weather and snow. While winters tend to be a bit milder in our area freezing temperatures, snow, ice, and sleet aren’t unheard of. This is especially true if you enjoy travel to areas for winter sports. In either case, it’s a good idea to do some prepping to ensure your truck can handle any bad winter weather you may encounter.
Winter Driving Kit
Our recommended first step is to create or resupply a winter emergency kit in your truck. If you end up breaking down or stuck in poor weather this kit will be an invaluable resource. Below is a list of items to consider including in the kit:
- Ice scraper
- First aid kit
- Warm clothes
- Emergency blanket
- Bag of sand or kitty litter
- Jumper cables
- Car tool kit
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Extra antifreeze
- Matches or lighter
- Non-perishable food
Winter Driving Prepping
Beyond keeping your car with a good supply of useful items in case of an emergency there are several things you can do to make sure your car is ready for winter.
Check your tires to make sure the tread is good and if you have a set of winter tires, install them. If you have tire chains pull them out and have them at the ready in case they are required. Mount Rainier National Park requires all vehicles to use tire chains between November 1 and May 1 regardless of weather or road conditions.
As temperatures drop your tire pressure can change, so get into the habit of checking your tire pressure as temperatures change.
If you know you’ll be doing a lot of traveling where there is snow and ice installing a set of winter wipers is a great idea. Winter windshield wipers are constructed with rubber that ice won’t collect on. If you won’t be travelling where there is lots of snow often simply checking your wiper blades to see if they need replacing is useful.
Most people tend to use more washer fluid in the winter to help keep their windshields clear of ice and snow, so make sure to check and see if that fluid needs topping off.
Keep your gas tank at least half full during the winter months to help prevent the gas line from freezing up. Also, if you end up stranded somewhere you’ll want to keep the heater going to stay warm, so the fuller the gas tank the better.
Make sure that both your front and rear defrosters are working correctly. Those ensure visibility for you while driving during the winter.
Winter is not the time to skimp on your truck’s needed regular maintenance. A simple spark plug going bad could be the difference between getting to your destination and being stranded on the side of the road. So what are you waiting for? Check out the online inventory of used trucks in Olympia, then visit South Sound Trucks to test drive the truck of your dreams and find a new weekend warrior to hit the trails with.