Must-Haves For Winter MotoringIf you’re planning on doing some icy motoring, you need to be prepared. Apart from having suitable tires, you’ll need a few extras – especially if you run into car trouble in the coldest weather. Being ready for anything is always a good idea. So, what should you keep in mind when driving in the coldest weather?
1. Frozen Batteries Can Be Dangerous
If your car won’t start in freezing weather, just jump starting it can be dangerous. Frozen batteries can even explode. Be sure to have specialized car jump starters for winter. And be warned: if it isn’t safe, it isn’t going to happen! Look out for the frozen battery indicator, and don’t try to use regular jumper cables if it lights up.
2. Have a Snow Shovel to Dig Your Car Out
Choosing the right shovel to remove snow from your car or to dig yourself out if you get stuck in the slush is a must! Choose a sturdy yet compact shovel that can handle cutting through ice if necessary. A serrated edge and a fold-away handle ticks both of these boxes.
3. A Snow and Ice Scraper
A layer of ice can effectively make your car unusable. A snow and ice scraper will help you to solve the problem. Since you won’t want to press up against that icy surface, make sure it has an extendable handle. At the very least, you’ll need to clear your windscreen and de-ice your headlights.
4. Have a High-Powered Flashlight
Don’t underestimate the low light conditions that occur in icy climates in winter. You’ll need a strong, reliable flashlight that can work in damp conditions if things go wrong. A high-quality rechargeable and waterproof flashlight will do the trick.
5. Hand Warmers
Freezing fingers are far too clumsy to be of much help in a cold-weather emergency. In case you didn’t know, air-activated hand warmers heat up instantly, and cradling them in your hands will warm them up enough to keep your dexterity even in the chilliest weather. They stay warm for hours, so a pack will be as useful for pure cold-weather comfort as it will be when you’re trying to change a tire in snow and ice.
6. Cat Litter
If you’re wondering why on earth you might need cat litter in your car even if your cat doesn’t live there, get a load of this hack. When your car is stuck in wet, slippery conditions, super-absorbant cat litter helps your wheels to get traction. With the kitty-litter spread, you drive off in style – at least, that’s the theory!
7. A Warm, Lightweight Blanket
If you do end up toughing out a wait for help inside your car in cold conditions, you can’t count on your heater. Be ready to wrap up warm with a cozy blanket. The latest fabrics allow for surprisingly compact yet warm blankets that won’t take up too much space. You’ll be glad you packed one if you ever end up needing it.
If you’ve never driven in snow and ice, drive slowly, brake gently, use a low gear to gain traction, and don’t forget to keep your headlights on. If possible, hand over the driving to someone who knows how to drive safely in snow and ice.