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How to Prep Your Car for Winter Driving

Thinking about taking a little holiday road trip? Millions of Americans will hit the road this holiday season, traveling for business or for pleasure. The weeks before and after Christmas are incredibly high traffic times, and you can probably expect to sit in traffic longer on the roads as you travel. Highway construction is ever-present and can add a lot of time to your trip. If you're going to be traveling a long distance which will have you driving for several hours, you will absolutely want to make sure that your car is in top condition for extended travel.

One of the first things you should do before embarking on a winter driving adventure is to check your tire pressure. Not that long ago, I was driving along and noticed that my car didn't feel quite right. I pulled to a safe place to get out and immediately checked my tires because something felt off. I noticed right away that both my front and rear tires on one side of the car looked low. Off I went to fill them with air and check the tire pressure. Not keeping your tires properly filled or over-filling with air can lead to major problems or an accident, so be sure to check the tire pressure regularly- whether or not you're taking a long trip.

Figure out whether or not you need winter tires. Believe it or not, depending on where you live, you may need to change your tires every few months. There are some drivers who drive with winter tires on for more than half of the year. Summer tires are perfect for summertime driving when it's dry or even a little rainy, but they generally don't stand up against ice and snow. Snow tires will give you the tread and protection your car needs for safe driving in winter weather.

Check lights and wipers before you leave. It's probably not at the forefront of your mind when you're busy and packing for a trip. If it's the last thing you do before you head out of town, test your headlights, brake lights, and windshield wipers. Just make sure they're all working properly, and if not, you can head to an auto shop to get a quick replacement before you hit the road.

Don't skirt on fumes. Seriously. Keep your gas tank at least half full at all times during the winter. You never know where the next gas stop might be when you're on a long trip and in an unfamiliar area. Plus, if you run into bad winter weather while driving, you won't want to have to worry about running out of gas while you're sitting in traffic.

These simple and routine things won't take too long for you to check before you leave for a winter trip. Even if you're not traveling this winter season, everyone should follow these tips to make sure their cars are safe for driving in the winter.

Brought to you by Robert's Chrysler Dodge.

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