Safety First – Driving in Salt Lake City’s Winter Weather

Utah winters will bring in snowy and icy conditions on the road, so it is important to check the following items on your vehicle to make sure it is ready to get you safely through the next few cold months.

Battery: Avoid getting stranded in the parking lot when it’s below freezing by recharging or replacing weak batteries. A battery load test performed by an ASE-Certified Salt Lake City mechanic can help you determine a battery’s strength.

Tires: Check for proper inflation and the condition of the tires. Cold temperatures can cause tire pressure to decrease. Don’t know if you need to replace your tires? Look for “wear bars” that periodically run across the hollow of each tread. If the tread has been worn down to the same height as the wear bar, it’s time for new tires!

Engine Oil: Your vehicle may require a different oil weight for cold weather operation. Check oil levels and change them at the interval recommended in your owner’s manual.

Lights: When snow is blowing during the day or night, it’s important all of your lights are working so other drivers are aware of your distance and driving direction and can avoid driving too close to you. Check for interior and exterior burned-out bulbs, malfunctioning switches, misdirected beams and clean lenses.

Windshield Wipers, Fluids and Defroster: Make sure your windshield wipers are effectively wiping your front and back windows. Remember to also stock up on no-freeze washer fluid because you don’t want to wait until you and the local stores are out or low on supply!

Heating and Cooling System: Test your heater and defroster so you know your vehicle can properly warm up inside and defrost any ice that develops on your windows. Check radiator hoses for leaks, bulges and cracks. Add antifreeze mixture if low and replenish if the liquid is discolored. Have your coolant checked with a hydrometer to be sure there is adequate cold weather protection, typically a 50/50 mix of coolant and water.

Prepare a Winter Emergency Driving Kit: Include an ice scraper with snow brush, flashlight with extra batteries, cell phone with a car charger, extra set of warm clothes including gloves and boots, first aid kit, tire chains, blanket, jumper cables, non-clumping kitty litter for traction, flares or reflective triangles, a gallon jug of water, non-perishable food items, window washer solvent and shovel.

If you make sure to check the items listed above with your professional Auto Repair Salt Lake City shop, you will have some peace of mind for the rest of the winter. Remember, your safety is priceless!

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