Tips for preparing autos for Missouri winter driving

Missouri motorists planning on spending time on the road this winter should ensure their tires, battery and engine are ready for the rigors of the weather.

The winter season brings a wealth of changes to Missouri, one of which is icy and snowy driving conditions. While motorists are aware of the need to take extra care while navigating snow and ice-covered roads, they might not be aware of extra measures to take to prepare and protect their cars before they set out on the road. Not only may proper preparation help prevent an auto accident, it may also extend the life of a vehicle as well.

Check antifreeze and engine coolant levels

To keep engines from freezing in the coldest of temperatures, drivers should be sure to check their vehicle's coolant and antifreeze levels before the season's first cold snap. Owner's manuals have the proper coolant and antifreeze levels, and motorists may purchase special kits to let them know if they have the right blend of fluids.

Inspect the battery

After the engine, the battery is the second-most important part of the car to inspect for winter driving preparedness. Any corrosion or other buildup on cable connections and posts should be carefully brushed away. Car batteries also contain fluid, which should be checked as well. Those unfamiliar with the inner workings of autos should leave battery inspections to experienced mechanics.

Make sure tires have the proper tread and pressure

Tires that have the right pressure and tread depth are better able to handle ice and snow, helping cars stay on the road and drivers remain safe behind the wheel. Pressure gauges are useful for checking air levels, but motorists should make sure they do not under- or overinflate tires. This job can be left to a professional mechanic, who can also inspect tire tread depth to see whether new tires are necessary.

Prepare an emergency kit

Because there is no telling when disaster will strike, it is best to have an emergency kit stashed in the trunk. Items to include in kits include the following:

● A blanket

● Road flares

● Extra winter gloves

● Tire chains

● A flashlight (with extra batteries)

● A fully charged phone capable of dialing emergency services

An emergency kit may be indispensable in being rescued from a sudden breakdown or avoiding being stranded in unforgiving weather.

Schedule an oil check

Oil comes in different levels of thickness, and cold winter weather requires thinner oil than summer weather. Drivers who had an oil change in the summer might want to have their oil changed or checked to see whether it is thin enough.

Missouri roads can be quite treacherous during the colder months of the year. Because auto accidents may still occur after following these suggestions, motorists should know to turn to trusted auto accident attorneys.