While Oregon’s winters aren’t as harsh as those in other northern portions of the country, they still present a variety of driving challenges. Taking the appropriate measures for the season can help keep you, your passengers and other drivers safe when things take a turn for the worse. Looking to keep winter troubles at bay? Here are five essential winter driving safety tips from the Main Auto Body, Inc. team.
1. Prep an emergency kit.
Your vehicle should hold an emergency kit year-round, but it’s especially important in winter. Start with blankets that can help keep passengers warm in the event of a breakdown, and be sure to include a first-aid kit for use after an accident. Other essentials include a change of clothes, winter gloves, snacks and a few bottles of water. Don’t forget a flashlight too – darkness will fall earlier as winter arrives.
2. Check your tires.
Residents of snowier regions often outfit their vehicles with snow tires, but they’re seldom required in the Pacific Northwest thanks to the region’s relatively mild climate. Even so, you should still keep an eye on your tire’s tread in case of slippery conditions. Be sure to monitor tire pressure as well, as over-inflation can reduce traction and under-inflation can affect response time.
3. Replace your brakes.
Routine brake maintenance is a standard part of vehicle ownership, but fresh brakes can also help you confidently navigate winter roads. Not sure if brake replacement is necessary? Visit a local repair shop to get an expert opinion and an estimate.
4. Have your battery tested.
When temperatures drop, you may experience a morning when your car won’t start. That’s because winter can substantially reduce battery performance. Have your repair tech check your battery at the same time they inspect your brakes to ensure it’s ready for colder weather.
5. Get your coolant checked.
Coolant is also known as antifreeze, and that’s for good reason. It keeps your engine running properly, even when temperatures drop below freezing. Scheduling a battery test, brake inspection and coolant system (pipes, radiator, etc.) checkup all in one shot is probably your best move before a brisk winter. If it’s going to be an especially cold season, you may also require a coolant flush.
Oregon’s Winter Repair HQ
With locations in Bend, Salem, Corvallis and other Oregon communities, Main Auto Body, Inc. is your source for full-service auto repairs. Need a dependable fix after a winter accident? Find a shop near you today.