5 Car Tips to Help You Get Through the Winter, From Me to You

By Lillian Lindberg
December 13, 2022

 

The cold weather is beginning to creep into our lives, shorten our days, and dictate each hour. We need to be prepared. Even though we do not battle the elements as we once did as you can see there are no woolly mammoths here but a new danger has taken the scene. Automobiles. From car crashes to small mishaps the chances of you running into an issue with your car are greatly increased in the winter. So, let’s do something about it. Here are a few car tips to help you safely get through the snowy months…

1. Make sure you have either all-season or snow tires on your car. 

Whether you drive a ‘Big Bertha’ or a ‘Tiny Tim’, you need to make sure your car is dressed correctly for the weather with some snazzy shoes! If your car does not have the correct tires, do yourself a favor, and head on over to a local tire shop to get them updated for the new season. 

2. Fill your car up with air and gas! 

As the weather gets cold, your tires slightly deflate, and you need to put additional air into them. You can easily identify if your tires need air by checking your dashboard for the symbol your car’s Tire Monitoring System will project—it looks like a horseshoe with an exclamation mark inside (pictured below). To find the exact pounds per square inch (PSI) of your tires, use a tire pressure gauge (also pictured below). Depending on your car type, your PSI may vary, but can easily be found inside your driver-side door frame, or your preferred search engine. You can go to a gas station to find an air compressor to fill up your tires with air. This keeps your tires healthy and allows for better traction on the roads.


                     

      (Low Tire Pressure Icon)       (Tire Pressure Gauge)        (Evidence of my Labor)      (Evidence of Completion)

Another tip is to not let your gas tank go below half. If you were to get into a small accident and/or stranded in your car, you want to stay warm. One sure way to ensure this is by keeping your gas tank filled above the halfway mark, so your car’s fuel is never a concern.

3. Have an ice scraper and brush in your car and when you know it is going to snow, lift those windshield wipers up!

A simple and significant game changer when it comes to winter in the Midwest. It is never fun to open your car door to get in and have 10 pounds of snow beat you to it, or to be short on time, get in your car, turn your windshield wipers to get the snow off, and nothing happens. 

My tip? Spend $3-5 and buy a dual-functioning tool…an ice scraper and brush (pictured to the right). To stop your wipers from freezing, simply tilt them up towards the grey clouds foreshadowing flurries. 

I, Lillian Lindberg, give you my word that this will save you precious time.

4. If you have a car on campus, there are two technological pieces to be aware of…

Minneapolis Snow Emergency App

This beauty allows you to be aware of parking rules and information, and not get towed. If and when we get snow, this app will notify you if Minneapolis is in a declared snow emergency. The app provides a map of city streets to show community members where they can and cannot park. 

North Central University’s Emergency Notification System

If you are not within NCU’s Emergency Notification System, you may miss critical information regarding the snow emergency procedures on campus. These texts and emails notify you with helpful information (e.g., what phase is in action). If you would like more information check out NCU’s Snow Emergency Procedure, Parking Guide, or head over to the security office in Miller Hall.

5. Keep an emergency kit in your car!

“What is in this ‘emergency kit?” you ask. Great question! In this kit, you should have…

  • First aid kit
  • A flashlight
  • Set of jumper cables
  • Blanket(s)
  • Hat and mittens
  • Optional: portable phone charger; map; compass; water

Within this category, another thing to check for is if your car has a spare tire, wheel wrench, and tripod jack. You need to know if you have these in your car, even if you never have to use them.

All in all, be safe this winter. Use these 5 winter car tips to help you be prepared because… 

For all of you North Central students with cars on campus, here are a few essentials you need to know about to ensure safe travels wherever you go!