With so many areas of the U.S. being hit hard this year with snowstorms and artic temps — and even more polar problems bearing down this week — we thought it was a good time to share a little checklist of winter car tips for Travel Nurses.
Cold weather can exacerbate automobile issues, so it’s important to be extra careful in winter. Follow these tips to keep yourself safely moving on wintry roads.
Check the Air and Treads on Your Tires
According to AAA, you should check your air pressure monthly. Look to your manual for your proper pressure level, test it, and add air if necessary. While you’re at it, be sure to eyeball your treads. If they look worn out, you may need to visit the tire shop.
Check Your Battery
Extreme temps can wear down car batteries, which generally have a 3-5 year lifespan. You can get your battery tested at most any mechanic’s shop. Always travel with a pair of jumper cables, just in case! Some road-warriors even travel with car battery charger, which generally require an outlet.
Fill ‘er Up!
Always try to keep your tank as close to full as possible.
Find a Great Mechanic — Wherever You Are
Too bad your awesome mechanic from back home can’t just travel with you! Ask local friends, Travelers, or even consult an online forum like Healthcare Travelbook to find a good one on the road.
Always Travel with a Roadside Emergency Kit
You could include a flashlight (LED is best), blanket(s), non-perishable food, water, jumper cables, flares, a first-aid kit, fresh batteries, Fix-a-Flat (in addition to a spare), hand sanitizer, an emergency radio, hand-warmers, fire-starters, a knife and/or scissors, and some duct tape — which always seems to come in handy.
A few other quick tips:
- Keep up on your oil changes — Use the recommended oil and be sure to check the filter too!
- Check your antifreeze.
- Have a pro inspect your belts and hoses before any long drives.
- Make sure your wipers are in good condition and your washer fluid is full.
When in doubt, always feel free to visit a mechanic or full-service gas station with questions. You are better off safe than sorry when it comes to cold weather and driving!
Do you have any other tips to share with your fellow Travelers? Let us know in the comments.