Deadly Polar Vortex Wreaks Havoc on Cars – How You Can Be Ready for the Storm

As the Polar Vortex broadsides the nation, extreme weather conditions are pushing ...

As the Polar Vortex broadsides the nation, extreme weather conditions are pushing their way through the midwest and northeast. Such conditions include lots of ice and snow along with a temperature that strikes to the bone, reportedly dipping as low as -50 degrees Fahrenheit when windchill is considered.

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As is to be expected, weather extremes can really impact just about every system that we interact with on a regular basis from home heating all the way to the systems under the hoods of our cars. With 90 million Americans already affected by the storm that has caused 9 deaths that we know of, this certainly isn’t a time to take lightly and something that is to be prepared for.

When it comes to one’s car, being prepared could be the difference between a hassle-free day or a day that ends up being miserable or potentially fatal. After all, being stuck in weather to that extreme can quickly cause conditions like hypothermia or frostbite to pop up in a hurry. Staying inside a running vehicle is the ultimate protection from these conditions so here’s a couple of steps that can be taken to give your car the best shot of not being stuck in a bad situation.

  1. Proper Fluid Maintenance – Check and make sure the fluids are at their appropriate levels. Both antifreeze and coolant are going through rapid changes as the temperature fluctuates to extremes so keeping an eye on the levels here can be essential.
  2. Battery – Check the voltage of the battery. When the cold strikes, weak batteries can be some of the first components to take notice. For those who don’t have the tools to do this, lots of auto parts places will even check batteries out for free.
  3. Tires – Make sure that tires have good tread on them. Should the vehicle in question come across rough terrain, whether it ends up being snow or ice, things can get sketchy with ill treaded tires. Maintaining the proper air level is also essential as colder, more dense air will deflate tires, making them less safe to drive on. Proper tire pressure levels can be found stamped in the sidewall.
  4. Clean snow and ice off – Removing snow and ice will not only help visibility but will help other drivers as well. It’s tough enough to grapple with slick roads without having to deal with flying debris.
  5. Keep an emergency kit – It might seem like a bit of overkill but should the cold end up destroying a component in your vehicle and disabling it, having a couple of supplies like a blanket, shovel, and extra phone charger could mean the difference between being stuck for a couple of minutes and being stranded for hours. This cold isn’t just something that will hand out a chill but is threatening lives as well. These supplies could really come in handy.

Hopefully, by using these tips, everyone will be able to keep themselves out of harm’s way. Bundle up, boys and girls, we’re in for a chilly one!



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