It’s Not Too Late to Winterize Your Vehicle

Posted at 2 p.m.

Don’t hit the road without a jack or until your car is ready for winter weather. There are maintenance checks to keep you safe, your vehicle warm and your engine running — as well as specific emergency items to store in your car during the winter.

Check or have a mechanic check items, such as:

  • Antifreeze levels — ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
  • Battery and ignition system — should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
  • Exhaust system — check for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
  • Heater and defroster — ensure they work properly.
  • Lights and flashing hazard lights — check for serviceability.
  • Windshield wiper equipment — repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.
  • Install good winter tires — Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions.

You’ll also want to add winter items to the emergency kits in all your vehicles:

  • A shovel.
  • Windshield scraper and small broom.
  • Water.
  • Snack food.
  • Extra hats, socks and mittens.
  • Necessary medications.
  • Blanket(s).
  • Tow chain or rope.
  • Road salt and sand.

Learn more on how to make an emergency kit for your vehicle(s) in this short video from the county’s Office of Emergency Management.

Follow these tips and find more winter preparedness information at www.Ready.gov and at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/hazards/winter-storm-snow-cold.htm.

Reprinted from the Dec. 16 edition of FEMA’s “Individual and Community Preparedness” e-Brief email newsletter

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About Fairfax County Emergency Information

Official emergency information about preparedness, response and recovery from Fairfax County Government.

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