Monday, September 18, 2023

Vehicle Check: Winter Is Coming

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Follow along as I build a long term plan via Prudent Prepping.

Checking our vehicles is something we should be doing regularly, and it's important to do that now since winter with its cold weather, rain, and snow will be here soon.

Easy Checks
If you know when you bought your last set of tires, you're probably okay, but if you can't remember the year, grab a penny and put Honest Abe's head in the groove of the tire. If you can't see the top of his head, then you're set for a few more miles. But if your penny is showing all of Lincoln's head, then those tires should be replaced as soon as possible. 

While you're there, check your tire pressure. Don't know what your tire pressure should be? The number is molded onto the tire, and is also shown on a plate mounted to the driver's door frame showing pressure for front and rear tires as delivered from the factory.

Tire Information
Many people change tire sizes, so the actual pressure shown on your tire should be your guide. Your tires may not have the numbers molded quite this large, but the information is there. Tire pressure should be checked on a schedule that is best for you; I check mine every third fill-up or once a month, depending how much I drive those weeks. 

Spare tires needs to be included in this as well; now might be a good time to clean out the junk in your trunk so that you can get to your spare in an emergency.

Other Easy Checks
I checked the washer reservoir and topped up that with fresh fluid. I only use regular bug remover on my car, since it doesn't freeze here and I don't drive my car in the snow if I can avoid it; when there is a freeze warning, I add a small amount of lower-temperature washer fluid to get me through. 

Change your wiper blades now, if you haven't done it this year.
My favorite

Not-So-Easy Checks

If you have the room, the equipment and the skill, checking your own brakes is fairly simple. If you don't feel comfortable doing that type of work, the store where you purchased the tires will usually check them for free when you rotate your tires. Oh, you don't do that? Start now; you'll get more miles from your tires before Abe's hair starts to show.

This is another thing that I don't have to worry about much, since it never gets below freezing for extended periods here and I don't drive in the snow if I can avoid it. In most cases, keeping the overflow tank filled to the minimum line with your recommended fluid is fine. If you don't know what that is, or can't find your Owners Manual, I would suggest driving to a trusted repair shop to look at your car.

The Really Simple But Expensive Way to Check All This
Most oil change stations can do all of these inspections and replacements for you while you are over the pit; just be aware that the prices you pay will be higher than doing the work yourself. But, it will be done all at once and correctly, with the ability of blaming someone else if something goes wrong!

Recap and Takeaway
  • Check your tires (including spares). 
  • Check your brakes. 
  • Check your fluids. 
  • Check your wipers. 
  • You are a prepper, so make sure you are doing things before the emergency!

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If you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please post them so we all can learn. And remember, Some Is Always Better Than None!

NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

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