Louisiana doesn’t see many days where the temperatures fall below freezing. However, all it takes is one brief winter storm or exceptionally cold night for roads to become treacherous from ice. And roads aren’t the only thing that can be damaged by falling temperatures. Your vehicle is also susceptible to winter weather, and it’s important to make sure it’s protected from the elements, regardless of how rare they are in our neck of the woods.
Most people in Louisiana aren’t real used to dealing with cold weather, which includes preparing their vehicles for cold temperatures. That’s why we created this handy graphic to help you complete the five essential steps for preparing and protecting your vehicle before, during, and after winter weather hits.
4 Mistakes to Avoid Before and While Driving in Cold Weather
Now you know the essential steps to keep your vehicle roadworthy this winter. But avoiding winter weather crashes also requires better driving habits:
- Don’t use hot water to melt ice on your windshield—There are few things more annoying than waking up to a windshield that’s covered in ice, and most Louisianans don’t own an ice scraper. However, pouring hot water on ice is a bad idea. Windshields can weaken, crack, or shatter due to the rapid change in temperature.
- Don’t jerk your steering wheel to avoid a pothole—Rain, snow, and ice can all result in potholes forming in roadways, which have the potential to damage your vehicle. If you don’t see a pothole until you’re directly upon it, don’t swerve or slam on your brakes, as doing so could cause you to lose control or crash into other vehicles.
- Don’t let your fuel gauge drop past the half-way to empty mark—Condensation can form inside the fuel tank when it grows empty, and if those water droplets freeze, they can damage your fuel lines, requiring repair.
- Don’t drive without checking the weather—It’s especially important to check the weather if you’re taking a road trip into colder parts of the U.S., as winter weather can strike quickly and shut down highways and interstates. Checking weather forecasts for your local area and areas you’ll be traveling to can help you avoid surprise winter storms.
Finally, be sure to keep up routine maintenance tasks for your vehicle. That includes regularly checking your tires and filling them to recommended PSI, getting oil changes at scheduled intervals, and topping off coolant if yours becomes low, especially before a road trip.