2. Battery Test. If your drive is over three years old, it might not necessarily need a new battery, but having it tested is a quick, harmless, and often free procedure (many shops include it with seasonal maintenance specials). Would you rather find out you need a new battery when your vehicle is in for service at 2 p.m. on a Wednesday or at, say 2:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning in an empty parking lot of the office party banquet hall when it’s -30 ºC without the wind chill?
If you have one and your vehicle is usually parked outdoors in regions where the overnight temps dip to -20 ºC or lower, you might want to get an outdoor electrical outlet timer and start using it. All that’s needed for most winter nights is a few hours of plug-in time to guarantee quick morning start-ups, almost instant heat from the HVAC system, and improved fuel economy as the engine’s cold-running time is drastically reduced.
If you drive an older vehicle you may want to step it up with a set of booster cables with instructions on how to use them. Blankets, warming candles and such should only be considered for longer trips into sparsely populated areas. And always properly secure your cargo. For minivans, crossovers and SUVs that don’t have a cargo area separated from the passengers, all these items can become lethal projectiles in the event of a collision or roll-over if they’re not properly secured.
Dress in layers, remove what you have to during longer trips but keep the gear close at hand. Another benefit to the correct clothing is that at busy intersections, you can pop open a window a bit to hear what’s going on around you. This added sensory input can help you avoid collisions.