Be proactive instead of reactive to the snow: Tips to start winterizing your car

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – As the temperature drops, it’s time to bring out the winter coats, boots, and gloves. But what about our cars? Parts of Big Cottonwood Canyon is already seeing snow and according to experts, it’s time to winterize your car.

“A lot of us feel like all-wheel drive will help with stopping and breaking. But the reality is AWD and 4WD don’t do anything to help us in an emergency stop,” said Garrett Cammans, sales manager at Murdock Chevrolet.

Cammans said the first thing Utah drivers should do is check your the tread depth of your tires. Consider getting snow tires and maintain your air pressure. Usually for every 10 degrees in temperature drop, your tire pressure will lose 1 psi.

“Often times, the tire will look good when you come up to the vehicle. But if you turn the wheels and you look at the inside of the tire, there’s usually abnormal wear on the inside edge,” said Cammans. “Your tires might look healthy from the outside, but if you crank the steering wheel and you check the inside of the tire, you might notice bald spots.”

Next, restore your headlights to improve visibility in snow storms and at night. Swap out your windshield wipers if they’re not doing the job.

“Make sure you don’t have any weather cracks, make sure they don’t have any warped, wavy edges and that they make good contact with your windshield,” said Stuart Denny, service drive manager for Murdock Chevrolet.

Lastly, Denny recommends keeping an emergency kit in your car in case your car breaks down or you get into a car accident. 

“Keep things like jumper cables, a blanket, even road hazard signs in case you get stuck on the side of the road. Nothing’s worse than getting stuck on the side of the road with your family with your vehicle not being able to use the heat,” said Denny.

As of this past January, Cammands said getting your tires inspected is no longer required as part of your registration. But it’s every driver’s responsibility to make sure that we’re safe when we’re on the road.

For information on how to winterize your car, check out these additional trips from AAA.

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