It sounds like the next couple of days could be pretty snowy around here. Naturally we will go out driving in the storm, because that is what we do. But here are a few things I like to have along in the vehicle in weather like this.
• A full tank of gas. If you ever do get stuck, it is worse to be stuck and run out of gas. And do not waste your money on gas line anti-freeze additives if you live in Minnesota, because all of our gas contains 10 percent ethanol… which will absorb moisture in the fuel line and prevent gas line freeze.
• Winter clothes and boots. You never know when you may have to walk or be outside of your vehicle, so make sure everyone on board has plenty of arctic wear.
• A shovel. If you get stuck, a snow shovel or a dirt shovel will extremely handy. If your vehicle does not have a separate trunk, secure the shovel so it can’t fly around in the event of an accident.
• Traction aid. This can be kitty litter, sand or a bag of water softener salt. The difference between being stuck or not is often a few feet, and some grit under the tires can help you get going.
• Washer fluid. Make sure the reservoir under the hood is full and keep an extra bottle in the vehicle. If the little nozzles that spray the fluid on your windshield get frozen shut, you will have no washers. Pouring fluid from the extra bottle on the nozzles can open them up.
• Snow brush and ice scraper. Being able to see is critical for safety. Be sure to clear snow and ice from lights and mirrors as well as all windows.
Those are just a few of the basics. And to my friends with four-wheel-drive vehicles: Your truck or SUV will get going better in deep snow, but it will not stop or steer any better than any other vehicle. If fact, the extra weight of most 4X4s makes them stop and steer worse in snow than lighter vehicles.
Let’s all be careful!