Usually, when people prepare to drive, they only think of their car keys and whether or not the tank is full. This amount of preparation may be sufficient most of the time, but there are more factors to consider before you drive during the winter season. Things like ice, snow, and freezing temperatures can make driving in the winter a lot more demanding than your usual sunny drive.
Whether you’re driving your usual route to work or taking a spirited drive in the chilly weather, there are a few car accessories that you should keep in your car at all times as part of your winter car checks.
- Snow and Ice Scraper
During wintertime, it’s not uncommon for people to return to a frozen car or an iced-over windscreen after a day out. Thus, a snow and ice scraper is the most common winter car tool that should be in every driver’s arsenal.
The build-up of snow and the formation of ice on cars are dangerous since they could obstruct your view or even fly off and hit the car behind you. Keeping a sturdy snow and ice scraper can help you efficiently clear off your lights, windows, and every area with a thick layer of snow before driving.
- Packable Shovel
A shovel is another must-have tool that mostly shines during the winter season. And while you may have several shovels for clearing your property of snow and ice, you want to get one that’s specifically dedicated to your car.
If you’ve experienced getting stuck along a snow-covered road or digging out your car after a snowstorm, then you’ll know just how convenient it is to have a shovel in your trunk.
- Car Cover
Whether you’re storing your vehicle in outdoor or indoor storage for the winter, getting a car cover is essential in keeping your car always ready for use.
You can prevent overnight build-ups on your mirrors, windshields, and hood by covering your car. It will also save you the hassle of scraping your ride clean the next morning and keeping its paint protected against acid rain, accidental scratches, and UV rays.
- Light Bar
With the winter season comes reduced daylight. This means that it can start getting darker at 4 pm, with no sign of daylight until after 7 am. So, not only will you drive in the dark longer, but you’ll also need to deal with harsh weather conditions that further reduce your field of vision.
Thus, a light bar is a perfect addition to your car. They’re great for increasing your presence so other drivers can easily see you, as well as providing the extra light output that can carve through even the darkest nights and fiercest winter storms to help guide you home.
- Jumper Cables
A dead car battery is one of the most common issues you’ll encounter whether you’re driving during the winter season or not. However, cold weather can significantly affect your car’s battery, so there’s more risk of a drained battery. Jumper cables can bring your car back to life.
- Grille Cover
Installing a grille guard in your car or truck has been proven to help increase fuel economy. During the winter season, a grille cover can provide extra protection to that area under the hood where your radiator and engine are. So, you don’t have to worry much about rocks, ice, snow, and other environmental hazards damaging the inside of your car.
Plus, grille covers are known to promote faster warming times of engines during cold weather. This should keep your engines operating at optimal temperatures.
Storing a flashlight in your car year-round is a great idea, even more so during winter when there’s less daylight.
Sure, you can always use your smartphone to provide light, but you probably want to conserve its battery life, especially if you find yourself stranded somewhere. Whether jumping your car or changing tires, you want a real flashlight that will shine bright and is quite sturdy.
- Kitty Litter, Sand, Or Rock Salt
Have you ever experienced being stuck in the snow? Have you tried getting out of it only to notice that the tires just keep spinning, regardless of how much you hit the gas?
Deep snow and ice can make even new tires lose traction. So, if you need help to get out of the snow, bring out the cat litter, sand, or rock salt you have with you. These coarse materials can help your tires regain traction. Simply spread the litter underneath the tire and in the car’s path to get out of the slippery situation you’re in.
- Vehicle Traction Mats
If you ever get stuck on ice and you use the previous trick of putting kitty litter or salt underneath your tired but it doesn’t work, then you need to get yourself some vehicle traction mats.
These mats work on ice, snow, sand, and mud, providing a raised traction that will help you get out of a slippery spot. All you need to do is to slide them under your car’s drive wheels.
- Running Boards
Running boards are great add-ons for any car or truck owner that has a hard time getting into their vehicle, which makes these accessories especially helpful during the winter season.
It can be dangerous trying to jump into your vehicle during winter with all the ice and snow. Installing a running board can help prevent slipping, plus they cut the distance in half so you can get into your lifted vehicle without a problem.
- First-Aid Kit
You should consider having a first-aid kit in your car trunk at all times. However, there are certain situations that make it especially important to have during the winter season. With a car first-aid kit, you’re in a better position to help treat your injuries in case of a crash due to the slippery roads, thus reducing the possibility of developing complications until assistance arrives. Remember, emergency assistance may find it difficult to get to your location during this season because of all the snow.
- Hand Warmers And Extra Winter Clothing
Even if you have all the right tools and accessories in order to get out of a road mishap, it’ll be difficult to use any of them properly when your hands are freezing. Wearing warm clothing and disposable hand warmers should help keep you warm while jumping your battery, changing a tire, or waiting for help in the midst of a snowstorm.
Winter is truly a mesmerizing time of the year with everything blanketed in white. As beautiful as this season may be, it can bring lots of problems when you need to drive for work or do grocery shopping in town. Fortunately, with the tools and accessories safely enumerated above securely stored in your trunk, you’ll be ready to drive in the winter.