Winter in Phoenix is not quite the same as winter elsewhere. Most days, it’s highs in the low 70s, with lows in the mid 40s—and this means that drivers here don’t have to worry about the same winter driving hazards that drivers elsewhere do. However, for many of us, it’s a yearly tradition around this time to pack the kids in the car and take a long road trip to visit grandma. These long trips may take you across all sorts of climates and geographies, and if you and your car aren’t fully prepared for what’s ahead, sometimes things can get dangerous. For example, picture yourself right now, driving on an icy mountain pass. Are you prepared?
If you’re going on a road trip this winter, follow these tips from an auto mechanic in Phoenix before you leave to make this the safest trip possible.
Get an emergency kit
It’s always best to be prepared. Make sure you have all the necessary emergency supplies, including:
- A first aid kit.
- Extra water and food.
- Blankets and extra coats.
- Jumper cables—no one should travel in the winter, period, without jumper cables on hand (the cold weather can be very hard on your battery).
- A scraper, and a small (folding) shovel, in case you need to dig your car out or scrape your windshield.
Check your battery
Have an auto mechanic test your battery to make sure it is healthy. Odds are, if it is younger than two years old, it’s probably fine, and if it’s much older than two years old, there’s a chance you might run into an issue in the cold weather. Batteries can lose well over half of their charge when temperatures hit zero, so if you’re starting with an old battery to begin with, this can cause serious problems.
Check your antifreeze
Antifreeze keeps your engine fluid from freezing in the cold, and also helps protect your engine from rust. Keep extra antifreeze on hand, and check your antifreeze regularly. If you have children, consider an antifreeze with propylene glycol instead of the usual toxic ethylene glycol antifreeze, as the propylene is not nearly as toxic.
Consider all-weather tires
Before you leave, you’ll definitely want to check your tires and make sure that the tread is still in good shape, and that it’s still deep enough to provide enough traction for your drive. If you have the money, we would suggest you consider investing in all-weather tires. They’re versatile enough to use even after winter is over, but will provide you noticeably improved traction in icy and snowy conditions.
Protect your vehicle’s paint job
Road salt can wreak havoc on your cars paint job, and can even cause corrosion issues in certain cars. Consider purchasing a product designed to protect your vehicle’s paint job in the winter. These products are usually sealants which can basically be painted on. Ask your local auto mechanic in Phoenix about it.
Before you and the family hit the road this winter, come in and see our expert auto mechanics here at S & J Auto Repair & Rental. We’re a locally owned and operated business, and have been totally dedicated to satisfying our customers since our founding more than 27 years ago. If you’re looking for the best auto mechanics at the most reasonable prices, come in or give us a call today!