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Winterizing your car for driving in the Sierras

In a recent blog entry, a fatal accident near Roseville was discussed. As pointed out, it's important to winterize your vehicle. This helps prepare you for any weather-related fastballs Mother Nature might hit you with this season.

Tips for winterizing your car or truck

Roseville residents usually don't have to worry too much about snow or ice, but motorists don't even have to leave Placer County to encounter icy and snowy conditions in the Sierras. That's why it's essential to prepare for any weather possibilities that you may encounter.

Read on for tips to keep you safer on the highways this winter.

  • If your vehicle is difficult to start or drive in good weather -- i.e. idling rough, stalling in traffic or hard to get into gear -- winter weather will only make those problems worse. Get it checked it out now.
  • Make sure that both your defroster and heater work properly before you need them.
  • Check your brakes, fluid levels, transmission and battery on a regular basis.
  • If you regularly drive to higher elevations, you may want to add deicer to the gas tank each month . This helps keep the fuel line free of icy clogs. A full gas tank inhibits moisture accumulation, which can also contribute to ice buildup. 
  • Carry an emergency kit that contains high-energy snacks, cellphone with extra car charger, blankets, extra gloves, boots, tire chains, shovel, flares, a bucket of sand or bag of salt and a flashlight with extra batteries.
  • Change your filters, check the oil and add antifreeze to your coolant system on a regular basis.
  • Worn wiper blades should be replaced, and keep windshield wiper fluid wells filled in order to aid with windshield ice removal. Stash an ice scraper in your car or you'll be stuck using a credit card to remove ice from your windshield. 

Another important issue involves exhaust fumes. If you get stuck or back into a snowbank, immediately check your tailpipe. If snow is blocking the exhaust, those fumes can backup into your vehicle, a potentially fatal situation.

Stay safe by implementing these safety tips this winter season. A side benefit is that well-maintained vehicles do less environmental harm by not causing as much pollution.

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