04 Dec Last year, winter hit Portland hard. Now’s the time to prepare for another round
When it comes to winter weather, we usually have it pretty mild here in the Portland area. But even still, last year brought nasty conditions that caused many motorists to take drastic measures, even abandoning their vehicles on the side of the road. Talk about a bad time! Luckily enough, a little preparation now can save you a blizzard of trouble later when the weather gets rough.
Get a grip. Traction, or a lack thereof, is one of the biggest considerations for travel on winter roads. Falling temperatures can reduce your tire pressure which, when coupled with a worn-out tread, can lead to a mushy grip on the roadway. Get a pressure gauge and take a look at your tires to keep them adequately inflated. Replace the tires themselves as needed, and consider investing in a set of chains — and actually learning how to use them ahead of time.
Safety supplies. If you’re ever stalled out or become otherwise immobile on the road, you’ll be happy to have some basic necessities to stay comfortable and warm. Essential items include a scraper/brush combo for your windshield, a small snow shovel, warm gloves and a spare coat or blanket. You should have a set of jumper cables anyway, but if not, get a pair for the winter. Cold temperatures can be rough on batteries, and a jump could save you from a chilly wait for help.
Check your fluids. A normal tune-up will sort out issues with your fluid levels, but wintry weather raises the stakes for this area as well. The most season-specific fluid is your antifreeze, but cold temperatures also call for a freeze-resistant windshield wiper fluid. Pair that cleaner with a fresh set of of wiper blades to keep the grime off even in the depths of winter.
Safety comes first when facing adverse conditions on the road. And remember, the salts and other deicers out there are not only harsh on ice but also on your car’s finish. Come by for a scrub to get things shining again!