November 7, 2015

Winter Car Travel Necessities

This blog post contains a list of helpful tips for things to keep in your vehicle during the wintertime.

Tips From Our Trusted Mechanics

Everyone living in the valley of the sun is able to quickly realize when the triple digit heat starts to subside. You will be able to sit on the back patio in the evenings and catch a beautiful purple and orange sunset and the swimming pool will soon be too chilly to use. The reminder that winter is coming will come along with the holiday seasons and also winter travel. Living in Arizona, there is not much experience with driving in winter storms but there are key items that could be kept in your vehicle to make your winter trips looking for things to do in Flagstaff (or other northern Arizona cities) much more manageable. According to the Department of Emergency management, 70% of winter deaths in the U.S. are related to icy road accidents. Although there is not a high probability of encountering icy roads anywhere in the phoenix area, having your vehicle properly prepared for winter driving is essential. Regular auto repair and maintenance should be all up to date with your local auto body shop. While your car is in for its service, have them check the battery condition because the combination of a weak battery and dropping temperatures will lead to failure. The winter weather will also be more demanding of the lights on your vehicle. It is best practice to ensure all bulbs are in working condition. A general inspection of the engine compartment including the hoses and belts should be carried out while visiting your local auto repair shop as well.  The fluid levels should also be topped off during this inspection in order to keep your vehicle in good working condition for the decreasing temperatures. Make sure to get a proper oil change before embarking on any long-distance adventures!

Be Prepared

Making sure your automobile is prepared for the winter travels is only half the part. The driver must consider their own personal needs and also for the passengers. Time spent in preparation for the road trip is necessary and should be performed in order to have the smoothest trip possible. If the weather conditions were to deteriorate, a well prepared driver will be likely to handle the situation better with minimal stress due to being prepared. In case the weather during the road trip takes a turn for the worst, there are some key emergency supplies that should be kept in the vehicle at all times. The Red Cross and National Weather service are a useful resource for suggestions regarding travel supplies, we have also provided a list of essentials to keep in your vehicle.

Load Your Car

• Flash light with extra batteries

• Blanket

• Jumper cables

• First aid kit

• Bottled water

• Non-perishable foods

• Compass/GPS/roadmap

• Tow rope

• Knife

• Matches

Comfortable sweatshirt

Last Thoughts

This list is incomplete and should be tailored to every different road trip and every different family. A checklist is an important item to also include and then everything that is needed can be accounted for. One final suggestion before leaving for the family winter road trip is to plan ahead to make the journey as smooth as possible. Before you embark on the journey, give a heads up to a family member or friend so they know you are going to be out on the road. Its also a good idea to let someone at the destination know of your approximate arrival time. The driver should remain alert during the drive and keep track of mile markers and passed exits incase of emergency. The general direction of travel should also be kept in mind to have the smoothest road trip possible. With these suggestions, your families winter road trip should be a much more enjoyable and safe experience.

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