Tips on getting your car ready for winter

CarWinterizingGraphic

By Lauren Reichenbach, Co-Managing Editor/Copy Editor

 

Most EWU students aren’t strangers to Eastern Washington’s wild winters by this point. EWU’s campus saw a dusting of snow in Sept. last year, and got hit with almost seven inches of snow this Oct.

While those inches melted off within a little over a week’s time, winter is coming and the snow is looking like it soon might be here to stay.

For many, driving in the snow never gets easier, and with a La Niña winter predicted this year by meteorologists, EWU students can expect the possibility of snow being here well into spring. 

So what should EWU students do to get their cars ready for winter driving? The Easterner compiled a list of tips to make sure students’ cars are well-equipped to face the next few months.

 

  1. Check your tires

Check your tire pressure often to ensure you’ll have the best possible traction in the snow. 

Consider buying tire chains if you are planning on driving over a pass or in extreme 

weather conditions. Buy a set of snow tires. If your car is two-wheel drive, winter tires 

may play a big role regarding your safety. Winter tires have a wider tread pattern that 

helps maintain traction on snow and ice.

 

  1. Check your windshield wipers

Being able to see through your windshield while it’s snowing is a pretty useful way to 

stay on the road. Some brands, such as Trico and Duralast, make specialized winter 

windshield wipers that prevent snow and ice from sticking to them.

 

  1. Keep an eye on your gas tank

Having enough gas in your car to keep you warm is essential, especially if you happen to 

slide off the road. Making sure you don’t drop below ¼ tank in the winter could ensure 

you stay warm in case of an emergency.

 

  1. Emergency kit

Storing an emergency kit in your car will also be beneficial if you happen to get stuck 

anywhere in your car. Useful things to pack are: a flashlight, a car phone charger, hand

warmers, a notepad and pencil, a simple tool kit, a small shovel and food such as granola bars, beef jerky, and hard candies.

 

  1. First aid kit

A first aid kit is always a good thing to have in your car year-round. This kit could come 

in handy should an accident occur. Minor wounds could be fixed with a 

bandaid and some gauze.

 

  1. Extra pair of warm clothes / blanket

Getting stuck in the snow is never fun, but it’s even worse if you aren’t dressed 

for the cold weather when waiting for help to arrive. Store an extra jacket, gloves, a hat

 and a blanket in your car to keep you warm in case you happen to get stuck. 

 

  1. Ice scraper

Keeping an ice scraper / brush in your car is extremely useful for getting snow off your 

car and scraping ice off your windows. 

 

  1. Jumper cables

Cold weather can be hard on car batteries. Keep a pair of jumper cables in your car in 

case it has trouble starting on the colder days of winter.

 

  1. Kitty litter/sand

Having materials like kitty litter or sand in your car could save you time and money if 

there is an incident in the snow. Putting kitty litter or sand on the snow / ice around your 

tires can help give your car some traction. You may be able to get yourself unstuck rather

than calling a friend or waiting for a tow truck for help.