Ready or not, winter is officially here. Even if you have many years of experience driving in winter weather throughout the northeastern states, it is important to take a minute to make sure that your vehicle is ready for all that snow and ice. Whether you have already been driving in the snow this year, or if you are just getting ready to make a big holiday trip in wintery weather, the more you can do to prepare your vehicle (and yourself) ahead of time, the better. Your Massachusetts auto insurance companies in New Bedford, MA want to make sure that you are prepared for winter weather. The best time to inspect your vehicle and make repairs or upgrades as needed is before you ever leave your garage or driveway.
Give Your Vehicle a Good Clean
Sure, your car or truck will get dirty in all that snow, mud, and ice, but the more you can do to clean it and keep it clean, the better your vehicle will look when the winter weather is over. Clean your vehicle inside and out, using products recommended by the manufacturer. Remove any trash, personal items, or debris that does not need to be in your car. Clean out the glove compartment, cup holders, console storage, and those little storage areas underneath and behind the seats. There are some safety items that you should keep locked up in your trunk, including flares, blankets, first-aid, and necessary tools, but other than that, don’t clutter up the inside cabin of your vehicle with debris.
Your MA auto insurance agent also wants you to know that a good coat of wax on a clean exterior will help to provide extra protection for your vehicle against all of the salt, sand, and other de-icing chemicals that the towns, cities, counties, and state roads use to keep the streets free and clear of snow and ice. While your vehicle definitely won’t stay clean, the more you can do to keep it clean and wash away the de-icing products throughout the winter months, the better protected your vehicle will be from damage.
Inspect Your Tires
One of the most important elements of your vehicle in the winter months is your tires. If they become worn, bald, and without proper traction, you will most definitely be vulnerable the moment they hit the snow and ice. The roads are slippery enough without trying to drive around on old tires without enough tread to get you through the winter weather. Check the tread or bring your vehicle to a trusted repair or tire store for an inspection. Replace them as soon as you can or consider upgrading to specialty snow or all-weather tires for even better traction and control over your vehicle in winter conditions. Auto insurance in New Bedford, MA can only protect you so much if you are unwilling to take care of basic maintenance for tires and other essential safety features of your vehicle.
Perform Basic Maintenance
Either take your car to a mechanic or, if you have experience with home auto repair, perform the basic inspections and maintenance yourself. Your battery should be checked before the winter weather hits and again in the middle of the season. You don’t want to get stuck somewhere out in the cold and be unable to start your vehicle. Make sure that it is strong, fully charged, and take care not to leave cabin lights or other things turned on when you shut your car off after use. That’s a sure way to come out to a dead battery in the morning or when you’re ready to leave work at the end of the day.
Your brakes are also essential. Make sure to check and replace them, as needed. Top off all of your fluids and consider using a winter formula for the windshield wiper fluid so you will be able to keep your windows clear when driving. Install brand new windshield wipers twice a year – at the beginning of winter and the start of spring. Check to make sure that all of your lights are working, including turn signals, brake lights, headlights, four-way flashers, and other emergency lights. Make it a habit to keep your fuel tank more than half full at all times and never let it get under a quarter tank full. This will help to reduce issues with condensation, freezing, and other winter-related issues with the fuel tank. Check your owner’s manual for even more tips and speak with your MA auto insurance agent for ideas that will keep you safe year-round.
Call Borden Insurance for a FREE Quote
If you are interested in updating your Massachusetts auto insurance policy or if you would like to get a FREE quote from our insurance companies at Borden Insurance in New Bedford, MA, give us a call at 508-999-3636. Borden Insurance has been providing top quality auto insurance in New Bedford, MA and the surrounding area for over 100 years. We have earned a solid reputation for customer service and comprehensive insurance coverage in the SouthCoast communities.