How to Prepare for a Winter Road Trip

Winter road trips are quite exciting, but you have to be well prepared. When taking routes through cold places and snowy roads, you should be sure that your car will not break down.

Here are some tips that will be helpful when getting ready for a winter road trip:

Take Your Vehicle for a Checkup

Ask your mechanic to check the lights, oil, and brakes before you embark on your road trip. Your defroster and exhaust system also need to be checked by a licensed mechanic because the last thing you want is for your car to break down on a cold, dark night.

Test Your Battery

Is your car battery more than three years old? You should take it to an auto repair shop for a test if you do not have a battery tester. Make sure that you clean off any corrosion from connections and posts. This way, you will make sure that your battery is in good condition.

Check Your Radiator’s Antifreeze Level

You should use a mixture of water and antifreeze in equal parts to ensure that your radiator does not freeze no matter how cold it is. You can easily test antifreeze using an antifreeze tester, which is a small plastic gadget that can help you to determine the condition and level of antifreeze in your engine.

Inspect and Replace Tires

Check your car tires often throughout your road trip because cold weather decreases tire pressure significantly. This makes the under-inflated tires dangerous for you and your family. If you are going to be driving in the snow, make sure that you buy winter tires because they offer better tracking.

Moreover, they increase vehicle braking in case you come across a wet patch and skid off the road.

Plan Your Route Early

Plan your trip using an up-to-date map and pick roads that are more likely to be sanded or plowed in bad weather. Make sure that you tell at least one friend or family member about your expected arrival time, route, and destination. When you do this, people will know where to start looking in case you do not make it to your destination as planned.

Prepare for Emergencies

Carry a car charger for your phone because it might be your lifeline if the car breaks down and you end up being stuck in snow. You should program your phone with all the emergency numbers such as emergency road services and read traffic reports.

Have the Oil Changed

Read your car’s user manual or ask any mechanic to recommend the best oil for use during a winter road trip. Consider upgrading to the highest quality oil because cold weather usually makes oil thicken.

Pack a Survival Kit

You should pack a winter survival kit, which should have a shovel, road flares, an ice scraper, extra gloves, and booster cables. If you carry the right things, you will be ready to deal with any problems that you might encounter along the way. Paper towels, a change of warm clothing, and extra granola bars will come in handy if the car breaks down.

Make Time for Rest Stops

After spending time in the car, your family will be antsy and eager to stretch their legs. Fortunately, you can stop at county and state sno-parks because they make for great pit stops. Just ensure that you pack snow gear that you can access easily: waterproof pants, boots, and gloves.

Finally, make sure that you keep your lawyer’s information handy in case you are involved in a car accident and need some advice on how to proceed.