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Take online surveys to pay for winter car prep
According to the Old Farmer's Almanac winter arrives Dec. 21, which means it's time to winterize your life, including your car. Of course, Opinion Outpost can help you out with these expenses. Just fill out a few paid surveys and you may net a winter automotive budget bountiful enough to afford all of the essentials. But before you cruise over to the auto parts store, peruse the auto winterization tips we've assembled below.
Top off the antifreeze
Most normal, non-gearhead car owners can count on one hand the number of times they look under the hood each year. Well, filling up the antifreeze prior to an onslaught of icy precipitation should be one of those times. It's essential. According to Real Clear Science, antifreeze prevents ice crystals from forming inside your radiator, the part of your car that cools the engine. Different engines require different antifreezes, reports Popular Mechanics. So, do some research before you buy.
Pack an emergency kit
Driving in the winter is dangerous business, so you should always be prepared for the worst-case scenario. And in the winter, that scenario is walking or waiting in freezing temperatures. U.S. News and Wold Report advised drivers to build a survival kit that includes items like blankets, gloves, flares and food. If you're planning to traverse some particularly barren terrain, you also might want to think about investing in a some tire chains and a shovel or two.
Switch out those tires
If you live in a region with brutally cold winters and heavy precipitation, snow tires are probably a smart buy. According to Jalopnik, an extra layer of rubber isn't the only incentive. Snow tires are engineered to withstand winter temperatures which means they don't harden in cold and lose grip like you're average all-season tire. You've basically got two buying options: traditional snow tires that achieve traction via physical add-ons like spikes, or modern winter rubber chemically engineered to combat the cold, e.g., tires coated in silica, a compound that bonds with water on a molecular level. Either option is worth the money.
Get a clear view
With winter comes the increased probability of low-visibility driving conditions. Prepare your windshield. First, purchase some winterized windshield wiper fluid. According to U.S. News, winter windshield mixes contain alcohol which has an extremely low freezing point. And some winter windshield blends contain de-icing chemicals. Additionally, re-up your wiper blades. You need beam blades that contour perfectly to your windshield, reported The Wirecutter. Streaking isn't just an annoyance in the winter, it's a serious safety concern, as freezing temperatures transform excess water into icy partitions.
Get a checkup
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Before the cold hits, take your vehicle in for an inspection. You want to make sure your car is mechanically sound before braving the winter roads. However, don't give your service center carte blanche inspection authority - they like charging car owners for expensive nice-to-haves. Go in with an itinerary, instead. The American Automobile Association suggested motorists look out for possible problem areas like the battery, the braking system, and exterior and interior lighting.