Winter is here in full force and with it comes the challenges of driving in the inclimate weather that comes so frequently this time of year in New Jersey. There's snowy and icy road conditions along with freezing temperatures to contend with, making commuting even more difficult than when roads are clear. You need to be alert and attentive to any potential hazards, including other drivers who may not be as experienced at winter driving. Give yourself every advantage at arriving safely to your destination by floowing these helpful tips provided to you by the Service Experts at Bridgewater Nissan.

Check Your Battery

Cold temperatures put extra strain on your car's battery. An older bettery that had no problem starting your car in the summer may suddenly lack the power to turn over your engine on a cold day, leaving you stranded. If your car's battery is a few years old, take the precaution of having the technicians at Bridgewater Nissan perform a load test on it to see if it has the power to get you through this winter. It's a simple test that could save you from a dangerous situation.

Check Your Lights

Shorter days mean that your commute home will be mostly in the dark. You'll need your lights to perform at peak level to give you the best visibility possible. If your lights are dim, have Bridgewater Nissan replace the bulbs or perform a lens restoration to remove clouding from the outer light housing. Road salt can build up quickly on your headlights, diminishing their effectiveness and if left on too long, can damage the lens. Be sure to completely clean any snow and ice off all your lights and wipe off road salt residue when you get home.

Test Your Antifreeze

Antifreeze is vital in keeping your engine's cooling system from freezing up on very cold days. It is important to check the coolant level to make sure that your cooling system is properly filled. This is typically indicated by viewing the coolant level in the plastic overflow reservoir next to the radiator. Be careful not to touch the radiator when the car is running and never remove the radiator cap when it is hot. If your coolant level is within the marks, it still needs to be checked to ensure that it has retained its antifreezing properties. Coolant can thin out as it ages and its freezing temperature can rise to an unsafe level. The technicians at Bridgewater Nissan can perform a simple antifreeze strength test on your coolant to ensure that your cooling system is safe.

Keep Your Gas Tank Full

The unpredictability of winter weather can wreak havoc on your commute, leaving you stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic and turning a half-hour drive into an all-night odyssey. Accessibility to a gas station is something we usually don't worry about until its too late. To be safe, never let your fuel supply go below the halfway mark in the winter. This also aids in the reduction of condensation that occurs inside your gas tank during the colder months.

Keep Washer Fluid in Your Trunk

During the winter, you'll use much more washer fluid to keep your windshield clean, and running out could leave you unable to see the road in front of you as snow, ice and road salt block your vision. Be sure to keep a jug of washer fluid that has de-icing properties available in your trunk to prevent running empty.

Check Your Tires

The Tire Store at bridgewater Nissan is happy to perform a tire check to see if your wheels are ready to handle the rigors of winter driving. Air pressure, tread depth and consistant wear should be inspected and any tire that exhibits poor condition should be replaced before heading out in the snow.

Carry a Survival Kit

It seems extreme, until you find yourself stuck out on the road in a snowstorm. A basic survival kit can help you avoid a tragedy. Fill a duffle bag or box with a blanket, first-aid kit, flashlight, knife, protein bars, phone charger and any essential medication that you might require. If your travel plans have you going through remote areas, be sure to tell someone where you'll be and your expected time of arrival. A little preparation goes a long way in keeping you safe from danger.
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