Car Emergency Preparedness

Get Ready for Extreme Weather: Week 1

Car Emergency Preparedness

car in snow

This is the first in a series of emails to help you become more prepared for extreme weather emergencies, brought to you by volunteers @ Transition Longfellow. Set aside some time to take these actions or use our To Do List to keep track of actions you will take in the near future.

Extreme weather conditions – whether cold or heat – can be taxing on vehicles and passengers, creating unsafe conditions. If you haven’t done so already, take time now to ensure your vehicle is in good working order. There are things you can check yourself, and other things that you might need to be checked at a garage.

  • Check windshield wiper blades. When wiper blades no longer make proper contact with the windshield surface, they squeak, chatter, skip, smear or streak.
  • Buy a jug of wiper fluid and put it in the trunk. Check wiper fluid every time you put gas in the vehicle. Keep it topped up. How to fill your wiper fluid video.
  • Check tire tread. This is important for both rain and snow traction. Here’s some new information about how to check tire treads.
  • Check tire pressure. You’ll need a pressure gauge. You’ll find the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure for your car on a sticker in the door jam, or in your owner’s manual. Some models place the stickers on the trunk lid, in the console, or on the fuel door. The recommended pressure is usually between 30 and 35 PSI. You can fill the tires with air at any gas station.
  • Check brakes. You may need to take it to a shop to get those checked. Allstate has a useful how-to for checking brakes. This video may be useful for checking your brake pads yourself if you have an open tire. Check radiator antifreeze, both the level in the radiator and specific gravity. You’re going to need an antifreeze hydrometer to do this and it may be a task you want to be done at a garage.
  • Keep your oil filled. How to check the oil.
  • Keep your tank at least half full.
  • Mark your paper or online calendar now to ensure you don’t forget regular maintenance. For example, wiper blades should be replaced approximately twice a year. Check the coolant level twice a year (before the summer heat and winter cold). Check brake fluid with oil changes. Rotate tires approx every 6,000 miles and check brakes at that time.

Next Up – Gather equipment and stock your car.

This email series is brought to you by neighborhood volunteers at Transition Longfellow. It is designed to help you become more prepared for extreme weather emergencies. Transition Longfellow does not endorse or recommend any of the products mentioned in this email series. Neither Transition Longfellow nor Transition Twin Cities receives any compensation for products mentioned on their websites. Products are mentioned for illustration purposes only.