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Guess What's Coming? Are You Prepared for Winter?

Summer has quickly turned to autumn.  The kids and grandkids are back in school.  Time for Friday night high school football and cooler temperatures.  I love autumn!

Sadly, right after autumn comes a time of the year people like least, winter.  Does anyone really enjoy icy roads and drifting snow?  I don’t mind them, as long as I’m inside my home looking at it out the window, with a nice cup of coffee.

If you do have to get out on icy and snowy roads, it’s important to be prepared.  Here are some things to consider before winter arrives:

  • Take your car in to be serviced.  Nobody wants to have a breakdown on the coldest day of the year.  Have your favorite mechanic give your vehicle a check.  Just like a person, our cars and trucks need a checkup.
  • Make sure your mechanic checks out the battery.  Did you know that when the temperature drops, it takes more battery power to start your vehicle?  Who knew!  Be sure to check that the battery has sufficient voltage, that the belts are in good shape and if need be replace the battery.
  • The cooling system is one of those life blood systems for your vehicle.  Make sure the coolant will withstand the coldest temperatures we may experience.  See your owner’s manual or ask your mechanic for recommendations. 
  • I usually remember to fill my washer fluid right when I run out.  Don’t be like me, make sure you have plenty of washer fluid as you can go through it pretty quickly in the winter time.  For winter time, you should consider purchasing no-freeze washer fluid.  It won’t do you any good if it’s frozen!  While you’re at it, take a look at your windshield wipers.  They may be worn out and need replacement as well.
  • Tires are important for safe travel.  Be sure to check the tire pressure and keep a tire pressure gauge in your vehicle.  Look at the tread and the age of your tire.

Now that your car is ready, how about you?  It’s easy to forget how to drive in winter weather.  Remember to go slow.  You can’t control your vehicle in snow and ice like you can when it’s dry.  Be sure to leave plenty of distance between you and any vehicles in front of you.  Four wheel drive comes in handy but not much help on icy roads.  You can spin and lose control just like a two wheel drive vehicle.

When you’re getting ready to go on a trip, plan your route in advance.  Go to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation website and check road conditions before you head out.  They have links to surrounding states road conditions as well.  Do your best to keep your gas tank as close to full as possible.  If you can, wait until weather conditions and roads improve before heading out. 

Be sure your cell phone battery is fully charged and if possible take an additional battery pack and charger.  A cell phone is the best way to reach out for help and keep people updated, especially if you get stranded.  But don’t text and drive!

View the full issue of AFR Today

Fall 2017

AFR leaders lobby Congress, hearing loss in farmers & ranchers, legislative advocacy awards, more