Preparing your car for winter driving

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Colder temperatures are slowly headed to Kansas, and it’s the perfect time to start preparing your vehicle.

It’s even more important now, because as of Monday, the state is five fatal car crashes away from last year’s total of 429, according to the Kansas Department of Transportation.

Properly preparing your vehicle for winter driving is essential for your safety and any passengers, plus it decreases the chance of your car getting stuck out in the cold.

KSN’s Amanda Aguilar spoke to Trooper Chad Crittenden, who said as the weather gets colder, more accidents happen on the roads. He added that many of the contributing factors are issues that are aggravated by a sudden cold snap  and can easily be checked.

Eddie Burris, lead technician at Route 54 AutoWorx, said his shop is starting to see more cars come in. However, he expects to see more once the cold has already hit and it’s too late.

“It’s not uncommon that if they just brought the car to me a little bit ahead of time, I could have saved them a lot of money by catching a problem before it comes a serious problem,” Burris said.

Experts said an “ounce of prevention goes a long way.”

Burris recommended having a Winter Car Care Checklist:

  • Coolant levels: Make sure the coolant provides anti-freeze protection down to the lowest temperatures you’re likely to encounter.
  • Tires: When the temperature changes, so does your tire pressure.
  • Washer solvent: A good quality washer solvent will keep your windshield clean but it will also make sure it doesn’t freeze up.
  • Battery: It’s important to have your car battery tested to ensure it’s fully charged and in good condition.

Burris said checking these things yourself or at a local shop is worth the time and money in the long-run.

“Your tire pressure is one example,” he said. “Air is free and we can get air in your tires, instead of having to put on a $200-$300 tire.”

Find more information about winter car care on the AAA website.