Making your vehicle winter ready - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Making your vehicle winter ready

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

The temperature has dropped in Wisconsin and auto experts say now is the time to get your vehicle ready for winter weather.

First up: check your wipers.

O'Reilly Auto Specialist Va yang told Newsline 9 if they are streaking or making a lot of noise, it's probably time to replace them.

"That way you're not stranded and trying and that way your not trying to turn on your wipers and make your way here. That's pretty dangerous, too," Yang said.

He said there are several options for wiper blades that are designed to cut through winter weather. Just look for a description on the product's packaging.

Another helpful tip, change your wiper fluid when the weather gets colder.

"Get something that can handle below zero," Yang said.

Yang also added drivers should make sure each tire is in good condition. "Make sure it has enough tread on it. Otherwise, you'll be sliding around in the snow."

Using a depth gauge, check that each tire's tread is no less than a quarter of an inch. Bald tires are bad news in any weather, but especially the ice and snow.

Yang also added that during the winter months, you shouldn't avoid the car wash. Washing off the bottom of your vehicle can prevent rust and erosion, protecting its value.

Authorities also recommend keeping an emergency kit in your car in case you get stranded during a winter storm.

It should include a warm blanket, flashlight, bottles of water and granola bars. Law enforcement officials also recommend keeping a set of jumper cables in your car and bright fabric or reflectors to help rescuers find you.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation offers the following instructions for preparing a winter coffee can survival kit:

  • A 2 or 3 pound metal coffee can (punch 3 holes at the top of can, equal distance apart). You'll be storing the other items inside the can.
  • 60-inch length of twine or heavy string (cut into 3 equal pieces - used to suspend can).
  • 3 large safety pins (tie string to safety pins and pin to car roof interior to suspend can over candle).
  • 1 candle 2" diameter (place on lid under suspended can for melting snow).
  • 1 pocket knife, reasonably sharp (or substitute with scissors).
  • 3 pieces of bright cloth 2" wide x 36" long (tie to antenna or door handle).
  • Several packets of soup, hot chocolate, tea, bouillon cubes, etc. (mixed into melted snow to provide warmth and nutrition).
  • Plastic spoon.
  • 1 small package of peanuts and/or a couple protein/energy bars, some dried fruit (such as dried cranberries, which come in nicely sealed snack packs), and even a little chocolate, to provide you with some energy or comfort in stressful times.
  • 1 pair of socks and 1 pair of gloves or glove liners, depending on what will fit in the can (cotton is not recommended because it provides no insulation when wet).
  • 2 packages of book matches.
  • 1 sun shield blanket or 2 large green or black plastic leaf bags (to reflect body heat).
  • 1 pen light and batteries (keep separate).
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