Road Patrol: Getting your car ready for winter weather

Road Patrol

FILE – In this Monday, March 15, 2021 file photo, snow covers vehicles parked along Second Avenue after a powerful late winter storm dumped more than 2 feet of snow in Denver. The storm shut down major roadways, canceled school and closed the state legislature. On Monday, March 22, 2021, the National Weather Service upgraded its forecast model, with an eye on predicting extreme weather events better and faster. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — With winter just around the corner, it’s best to take a proactive approach when it comes to getting cars ready to take on snow and ice.

1) What to have in the car:

A brush is the most basic utility to have in a car. Most brushes come equipped with bristles on one side to brush off snow and a scraper on the other side to help with ice.

“Driving around with snow on your vehicle — it’s illegal in many states,” said Jim Garrity, the director of public affairs at East Central AAA. “It’s dangerous. It obstructs your field of vision. You don’t want to be that person who’s driving around the road looking through that peephole you made only using the heater on your car.”

Garrity said that AAA sells a kit to keep in a car during winter that comes with other accessories that could help if a car broke down on the road in the winter.

2) Using the defroster:

When trying to clear the windshield of snow and ice, use the defroster in the car to get the windshield warm quickly. Be sure to allow plenty of time in the morning so that the car can warm up properly and help melt the ice and give a good line of sight of the road.

3) Keeping the tires inflated

When the weather drops, it can lower the air pressure in your car tires. When the tires get too deflated in newer cars, a light will come on indicating it needs air. Gas stations offer air pumps for little to no charge that allow drivers to stop by and fill their tires to the level indicated on the car door. When the requisite air is met, the light will turn off.

“If you don’t have that light on your dashboard — double check to make sure that you do — but if you don’t, make sure you get to one of those gas stations where you can do it for free. And make sure that you are adjusting your tire pressure if possible after the tire’s warmed up a little,” Garrity said.

AAA provides a checklist to make sure that everyone is prepared for winter weather.

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