SAN ANTONIO – With the potential for some of the coldest weather in our region in decades, AAA Texas says now is the time to start preparing your vehicle.
Here are some tips to know before you battle the elements and head out onto the roadway this weekend.
Car batteries, Tires, Fluids
Cold weather can be tough on car batteries, so AAA Texas advises people get their battery and system checked for optimum performance. Also, these reminders:
- Park in a garage if possible to minimize a car’s exposure to low temperatures
- Turn off lights, wipers and heater before turning off the engine
- Unplug car chargers
Colder weather can lower tire pressure, so ensure the tires are properly inflated. Also check the tread and don’t overload the vehicle. Also check your fluid levels, including windshield wiper fluid.
Car seats and winter jackets
Bulky or puffy winter jackets can keep children warm, but can also hurt the performance of car seats. In a crash, a jacket can compress, creating a gap between the harness and the child.
“Harness straps should lay flat and snug against the body, and not have any twists or padding,” said Child Passenger Safety Technician/AAA Texas Public Affairs Specialist Kara Thorp. “Parents should buckle their kids in cars without jackets first, and then cover them with something like a blanket. The seat belt should be snug enough that you can’t pinch any of the strap material at the child’s shoulder.”
Thorp also advises that parents:
- Keep car seats inside the home to keep them warm,.
- Warm up the car before the trip
- Have children wear a thin coat inside the car
With several big crashes stranding motorists on roadways for hours already, The Texas Department of Public Safety also suggest drivers keep emergency supplies in their vehicles. Those include:
- Blankets/sleeping bags, extra clothing, gloves and a hat.
- Cell phone, radio, flashlight and extra batteries.
- First-aid kit and pocket knife.
- High calorie, non-perishable food and bottled water.
- Bag of sand or cat litter to provide traction for tires.
- Windshield scraper, tool kit, booster cables, tow rope and a shovel.
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