Tag Archives: ice

Winter Vehicle Safety Checklist

With the winter months here, it’s important to make sure your adaptive vehicle is in good shape to maximize protection and prevent breakdowns brought on by cold weather conditions. Here are some key items we recommend having checked on your wheelchair accessible vehicle to keep it running at its best and avoid the inconvenience of being stranded outside and emergency repairs.

Get Your Battery Tested
Cold weather can dramatically reduce the strength of your mobility vehicle’s battery. It’s important to have your battery tested to insure it’s fully charged. This is especially true if your battery is over two years old. And don’t forget to have your battery cables, posts and fasteners inspected. The cables should be in good shape and firmly connected to the battery.

Replace Your Wiper Blades
It’s recommended you replace your windshield wiper blades every six months. Ice and snow can be rough on the soft rubber, so we suggest replacing them with a heavier winter blade. Windshields get dirty quickly in the winter months from the sand, salt and spray off the road, so refill your washer fluid often for optimum visibility. Use a 50/50 mix of washer and water.

Check Your Tires
Make sure all of your tires including the spare are in good condition. Take a good look at the tread and consider replacing or rotating your tires if they are starting to wear out. Also check your tire pressure regularly. Cold weather causes tire pressure to drop and may result in the sensors indicating an unsafe driving pressure. Proper tire inflation makes for safer driving and better gas mileage.

Check Hoses, Clamps and Drive Belts
A belt or hose failure can cause serious engine, steering and electrical problems. Have your hoses checked for leaks or soft spots especially around the clamps. The thermal fluctuation between hot and cold can be even more severe in winter than summer months. Flush and refill your cooling system with a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water. It’s also a good idea to make sure the heater and defroster are in good working condition.

Make Sure Your Mobility System Is Operating
Your conversion equipment is exposed to the elements as you enter and exit your handicap accessible vehicle and winter weather can compound those effects. Make sure your lift or ramp are lubricated and adjusted properly. Check the doors, mechanisms and ramp assembly for corrosion and rust. Snow, salt, sand and ice can easily cause problems.

Something to remember no matter what time of year is that having your oil changed regularly is probably the most important thing you can do to extend the life of your vehicle and keep it running properly.

Information & Maintenance: Wiper Blades

An easy way to remember to proactively change your wiper blades is to replace them when the time changes. Whether your alarm clock is gaining or losing an hour, change all your clocks, and then replace your wiper blades.

When inspecting wiper blades, look for the following:

  • Broken frame – detachment of frame arms at joints or connection points.
  • Metal Corrosion – especially at joints and claws.
  • Visible cracks, tears, and missing pieces in the rubber squeegee’s edge.
  • Flex rubber squeegee back and forth to see if it is still flexible. Aged squeegees will have difficulty conforming to the shape of your windshield and create streaks.
  • Check squeegee wiping edge for rounded edges which can prevent the wiper blade from making strong contact with the windshield and reduces wipe quality.
  • Tug to ensure wiper blade has been securely installed on the wiper arm.
  • Check that squeegee is secure in the wiper frame.

Remember to check your wiper blades as part of your regular preventative maintenance!

Wiper Blade Maintenance Tips
Visibility is fundamental to safe driving. Although drivers depend on their vehicles’ wiper blades to clear away rain, sleet and snow, many wait to replace them until they need them the most. So remembering to maintain wiper blades regularly can maximize visibility, efficiency and reliability.

Wiper blades deteriorate due to many environmental factors including:

  • Sun: Ultraviolet light and ozone deterioration
  • Oil: Car waxes and exhaust hold rubber-deteriorating oil
  • Airborne debris: Sand, mud and dust carried in the wind
  • Moisture: Acid rain and salt water (in moist air both near the shore and inland)

Remember, wiper blades should be checked every six months and changed at least once a year. Evaluate both the rubber squeegee and the metal frames to avoid common problems such as streaking, skipping, chattering, wearing and splitting – all offenders of reduced visibility and slowed reaction time while driving.

Common Wiper Problems

  • Streaking occurs when the rubber squeegee dries, hardens and cracks. It can also be caused by tree sap, road tar and other foreign substances collected on either the glass or the blade.
  • Skipping occurs when the blade develops a curvature from lack of use (e.g. left in the ‘parked position’ for an extended length of time).
  • Wearing occurs with extensive use and is when the rubber edges are rounded instead of squared.
  • Splitting is caused when the sun’s ultraviolet rays penetrate the rubber squeegee, causing it to breakdown and separate from the frame.
  • Bent Refill Vertebra and Bent Frames cause inconsistent contact with the glass surface, creating streaking or skipping.

Avoid these common problems and extend the life of your wiper blades by following these simple steps:

  • Clean your windshield every time you fill your gas tank.
  • Gently wipe the rubber squeegee with a damp paper towel to remove any loose dirt or oil.
  • Never use your windshield wipers to de-ice your windshield. Instead, either use an ice scraper or use your defroster to melt snow and ice.
  • Pull your wiper blades away from the windshield during winter months to prevent ice build up on the rubber squeegee and to prevent them from sticking to the windshield.

Efficient wiper blades are as important to a vehicle’s safe operation as clean oil and good tires. So remember to change your wiper blades at least once a year, to inspect them frequently for wear and tear and to enjoy the view!

Wiper Blade Information & Maintenance

Wiper blades should be replaced every six months to a year or as soon as you notice a difference in driving visibility. When wiper blades no longer make proper contact with the windshield surface, they can begin to squeak, chatter, skip, smear or streak reducing driving visibility.

An easy way to remember to proactively change your wiper blades is to replace them when the time changes. Whether your alarm clock is gaining or losing an hour, change all your clocks, and then replace your wiper blades.

When inspecting wiper blades, look for the following:

  • Broken frame – detachment of frame arms at joints or connection points.
  • Metal Corrosion – especially at joints and claws.
  • Visible cracks, tears, and missing pieces in the rubber squeegee’s edge.
  • Flex rubber squeegee back and forth to see if it is still flexible. Aged squeegees will have difficulty conforming to the shape of your windshield and create streaks.
  • Check squeegee wiping edge for rounded edges which can prevent the wiper blade from making strong contact with the windshield and reduces wipe quality.
  • Tug to ensure wiper blade has been securely installed on the wiper arm.
  • Check that squeegee is secure in the wiper frame.

Remember to check your wiper blades as part of your regular preventative maintenance!

Wiper Blade Maintenance Tips
Visibility is fundamental to safe driving. Although drivers depend on their vehicles’ wiper blades to clear away rain, sleet and snow, many wait to replace them until they need them the most. So remembering to maintain wiper blades regularly can maximize visibility, efficiency and reliability.

Wiper blades deteriorate due to many environmental factors including:

  • Sun: Ultraviolet light and ozone deterioration
  • Oil: Car waxes and exhaust hold rubber-deteriorating oil
  • Airborne debris: Sand, mud and dust carried in the wind
  • Moisture: Acid rain and salt water (in moist air both near the shore and inland)

Remember, wiper blades should be checked every six months and changed at least once a year. Evaluate both the rubber squeegee and the metal frames to avoid common problems such as streaking, skipping, chattering, wearing and splitting – all offenders of reduced visibility and slowed reaction time while driving.

Common Wiper Problems

  • Streaking occurs when the rubber squeegee dries, hardens and cracks. It can also be caused by tree sap, road tar and other foreign substances collected on either the glass or the blade.
  • Skipping occurs when the blade develops a curvature from lack of use (e.g. left in the ‘parked position’ for an extended length of time).
  • Wearing occurs with extensive use and is when the rubber edges are rounded instead of squared.
  • Splitting is caused when the sun’s ultraviolet rays penetrate the rubber squeegee, causing it to breakdown and separate from the frame.
  • Bent Refill Vertebra and Bent Frames cause inconsistent contact with the glass surface, creating streaking or skipping.

Avoid these common problems and extend the life of your wiper blades by following these simple steps:

  • Clean your windshield every time you fill your gas tank.
  • Gently wipe the rubber squeegee with a damp paper towel to remove any loose dirt or oil.
  • Never use your windshield wipers to de-ice your windshield. Instead, either use an ice scraper or use your defroster to melt snow and ice.
  • Pull your wiper blades away from the windshield during winter months to prevent ice build up on the rubber squeegee and to prevent them from sticking to the windshield.

Efficient wiper blades are as important to a vehicle’s safe operation as clean oil and good tires. So remember to change your wiper blades at least once a year, to inspect them frequently for wear and tear and to enjoy the view!

Winter Weather Tips for People with DisAbilities: Don’t Get Left Out in the Cold

From commuting to work in your wheelchair accessible vehicle to visiting friends and family following the busy holiday season, here are some winter safety tips for people living with disAbilities.

Function Over Fashion
Dress in layers. Air gets trapped between the layers and acts as insulation. Wearing multiple layers of clothing also gives you the ability to remove layers when you perspire or add them when you get chilled.

Try to avoid wearing cotton clothing, as it will stay wet once it gets wet. Consider moisture wicking, polypropylene and other lightweight, man-made fabrics.

Wear warm gloves. Gripper driving gloves not only keep your hands warm but can help prevent slipping when sleet or ice stick to wheelchairs and other surfaces. Carry an extra pair of gloves with you, in case one pair gets wet.

Protect Your Face
Use sunscreen. People don’t think about it but when the sun reflects off of snow, severe sunburns can occur.

Another good idea is to use Vaseline on exposed areas of your face. It helps prevent your face from getting dry or chapped by acting as a moisture insulator.

Getting Around
Using a wheelchair in snow can be very strenuous, especially if you’re not accustomed to it. Always be careful when maneuvering through the snow, as the extra exertion could have negative effects on your body. If possible, have somebody with you to help.

Pneumatic tires or those made from soft rubber can give wheelchairs better traction on snow and ice. An alternative is to use mountain bike tires that have knobby treads.

Always take your time on slippery surfaces so you don’t go into a slide and lose control. Be especially mindful while driving a mobility vehicle and keep winter driving tips for maneuvering over slush, ice and snow in mind.

Batteries can lose 60% of their charge when temps get cold, so keep them warm with covers.

Make sure you take proper care of your handicap accessible vehicle by following the appropriate winter car-care suggestions.

Don’t Forget Your Pets
Dogs can suffer from hypothermia and frostbite, too. If you’re accompanied by a service animal or taking a pet outside, consider a dog coat and boots for their feet. It’s also a good idea to keep a blanket in your vehicle for your pet.

Winter Vehicle Safety Checklist

With the winter months here, it’s important to make sure your adaptive vehicle is in good shape to maximize protection and prevent breakdowns brought on by cold weather conditions. Here are some key items we recommend having checked on your wheelchair accessible vehicle to keep it running at its best and avoid the inconvenience of being stranded outside and emergency repairs.

Get Your Battery Tested
Cold weather can dramatically reduce the strength of your mobility vehicle’s battery. It’s important to have your battery tested to insure it’s fully charged. This is especially true if your battery is over two years old. And don’t forget to have your battery cables, posts and fasteners inspected. The cables should be in good shape and firmly connected to the battery.

Replace Your Wiper Blades
It’s recommended you replace your windshield wiper blades every six months. Ice and snow can be rough on the soft rubber, so we suggest replacing them with a heavier winter blade. Windshields get dirty quickly in the winter months from the sand, salt and spray off the road, so refill your washer fluid often for optimum visibility. Use a 50/50 mix of washer and water.

Check Your Tires
Make sure all of your tires including the spare are in good condition. Take a good look at the tread and consider replacing or rotating your tires if they are starting to wear out. Also check your tire pressure regularly. Cold weather causes tire pressure to drop and may result in the sensors indicating an unsafe driving pressure. Proper tire inflation makes for safer driving and better gas mileage.

Check Hoses, Clamps and Drive Belts
A belt or hose failure can cause serious engine, steering and electrical problems. Have your hoses checked for leaks or soft spots especially around the clamps. The thermal fluctuation between hot and cold can be even more severe in winter than summer months. Flush and refill your cooling system with a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water. It’s also a good idea to make sure the heater and defroster are in good working condition.

Make Sure Your Mobility System Is Operating
Your conversion equipment is exposed to the elements as you enter and exit your handicap accessible vehicle and winter weather can compound those effects. Make sure your lift or ramp are lubricated and adjusted properly. Check the doors, mechanisms and ramp assembly for corrosion and rust. Snow, salt, sand and ice can easily cause problems.

Something to remember no matter what time of year is that having your oil changed regularly is probably the most important thing you can do to extend the life of your vehicle and keep it running properly.

Cold Weather Tips for Your Van

Frigid temperatures not only slow us down, but can slow our van and accessible equipment. For example, if you use a hydraulic wheelchair lift, you may have noticed that the colder the weather, the slower the lift reacts. The cold thickens the fluid, making it move slower through hoses, valves and cylinders.

There’s not much you can do about that, but preparing other equipment for cold weather is important to help avoid accidents and breakdowns.

If you live in northern climates, get an oil change, tune-up, and/or semi-annual lift service and have any other accessible equipment checked before the temperature dips. A professional should also check the battery, antifreeze level, heater, brakes, defroster and thermostat.

Do It Yourself:

  • Purchase winter wiper blades that cut through snow and ice.
  • Keep the gas tank at least half full. It reduces condensation and makes your vehicle easier to start on cold mornings.
  • Buy tires that have MS, M+S, M/S or M&S on them, meaning they meet the Rubber Manufacturers Association guidelines and can bite through mud and snow.
  • For better traction and control, rotate tires so the best ones are in the front.
  • Get an electric engine block heater. It warms the engine so the motor can start. It connects to normal AC power overnight or before driving. In extremely cold climates, electrical outlets are sometimes found in public or private parking lots.
  • Cold weather is tough on accessible van batteries. Buy one with greater starting power, higher cold cranking amps and reserve capacity for energy when the engine isn’t running.
  • Use synthetic oil to make starting a cold engine easier.

Before you drive:

  • Keep rock salt on hand to melt ice off walkways for a safer wheelchair ride.
  • Clean the snow off the roof and hood so it doesn’t “avalanche” onto the windshield and block your vision.
  • Clear the head and tail lights for best visibility.
  • Scrape the ice off mirrors and windows.

Driving Safely In Winter

Unfortunately, snow isn’t the only thing to watch out for while behind the wheel of a wheelchair accessible vehicle during the colder months. There’s also slush, black ice and blizzards. Fortunately, with the correct driving techniques, each can be handled stress free and safely.

Be Prepared
First and foremost, if you’ll be driving in the snow anytime soon, be prepared. This means having you car winterized before it’s needed. Depending on your location this can mean installing both snow tires and winter windshield wipers. Be sure to contact your local NMEDA dealer to find out if there are any special precautions you should take to get your handicap van ready for the snow. Additionally, have your battery, defroster, and antifreeze checked and stock your vehicle with emergency supplies like blankets, flashlights, food, water, shovel, sand, and first aid. Also, it’s a good idea to always have at least a half tank of gas. This gives the car some extra weight to help prevent skidding, but it’s also is safer in the event of getting lost or stranded. Finally, be sure to plan for extra time to get to your destination. You should never feel rushed or feel as if you have an excuse to speed.

Driving in Snow
First things first, slow down! Ten to fifteen miles per hour is a good speed of thumb when driving in snow. Always give yourself more stopping room because even in mild conditions, a little bit of skidding can be common. Also, try not to use cruise control. Your reaction time will not only be delayed, but if your vehicle begins to slide it will continue to accelerate. Make turns gently and avoid changing lanes unless necessary. If you must switch lanes, turn your wheel gradually to avoid fish tailing.

In the event you do slide off the road, don’t immediately try to gun it out or else you may dig yourself in. First, try a gentle acceleration. If this doesn’t get you out, stop and turn your wheel side to side to push snow away from the tires. Your best bet is to then use a shovel to clear snow and then spread sand for traction, however if you have limited mobility or use a wheelchair (meaning maneuvering in the snow might be difficult), it might be best to call a family member or emergency road service to help you get back on the road.

Driving on Ice
Iced over roads are one of the most dangerous aspects of driving during the winter. Black ice is hard to spot because it’s almost invisible, but if you begin to slide over it, take your foot off both the brake and the accelerator. Let your car slide and try to keep the car straight until you get traction back. If you lose control and start going off the road, try to guide your car toward an area with minimal damage possibilities. In general, look out for shady spots where the sun can’t melt the ground because black ice is more likely found here.

Driving in a Blizzard
If a blizzard hits while you’re out on the road, turn on your lights so that other drivers can easily see you, avoid changing lanes and be sure to pull over if you feel unsafe. If you do pull over, just make sure to get away from traffic and turn on your hazard lights.

If possible, avoid driving in the snow completely. If you do need to go out, many counties and towns list what roads have been plowed and salted online, so check to see if you can plan a safer route.

Hopefully with these tips you’ll now have a better understanding of how to handle your vehicle on winter roads. In general, if there’s any snow, ice, or slush on the road, driving slower and giving enough stopping room will eliminate many of the problems you might face. Add some common sense and good judgment, and you’ll be well on your way to mastering inclement weather.

Tips To Prepare Your Car For Winter

Tips To Prepare Your Car For Winter

Charge it.
Cold weather is tough on batteries. At zero degrees, a car’s battery loses about 60 percent of its strength.

Keeping battery terminal clean.
Having a load test performed by a qualified technician will help determine whether a car’s battery is strong enough for winter starts.

Get a grip.
Before winter arrives, make sure your car is equipped with tires that are able to handle tough winter weather. For most motorists, all-season tires are adequate.

See and be seen.
Danger must be seen to be avoided. Driving with a snow- covered windshield, windows, side-view mirrors or lights invites a crash. Clear windows, mirrors and lights with an ice scrapper, brush or spray de-icer. Make certain windshield wipers and defrosters are in good working order and that washer reservoirs are filled with no freeze windshield washer fluid.

Slippery when wet.
In temperatures at or just above 32 degrees, a thin layer of water can cover the ice, causing extremely slippery conditions. The distance needed to stop on ice at 32 degrees is twice as long as at zero degrees. Beware of “black ice” — ice that remains on roadways that are not in direct sunlight. Use extra caution when driving on bridges; they freeze first, because they are surrounded by cold air.

Keep your engine cool.
Make certain cooling system antifreeze is mixed with an equal portion of water for maximum protection.

Key solution.
Frozen door locks can be overcome by carefully heating the end of a key with a match or a lighter. A squirt of de-icer spray is another quick method.

Air it out.
Don’t let frigid temperatures tempt you into starting your car in a closed garage. Carbon Monoxide from exhaust fumes is almost impossible to detect and can be fatal when breathed in a confined area.

Wiper Blade Information & Maintenance

Wiper blades should be replaced every six months to a year or as soon as you notice a difference in driving visibility. When wiper blades no longer make proper contact with the windshield surface, they can begin to squeak, chatter, skip, smear or streak reducing driving visibility.

Wiper Blade Information & Maintenance

An easy way to remember to proactively change your wiper blades is to replace them when the time changes. Whether your alarm clock is gaining or losing an hour, change all your clocks, and then replace your wiper blades.

When inspecting wiper blades, look for the following:

  • Broken frame – detachment of frame arms at joints or connection points.
  • Metal Corrosion – especially at joints and claws.
  • Visible cracks, tears, and missing pieces in the rubber squeegee’s edge.
  • Flex rubber squeegee back and forth to see if it is still flexible. Aged squeegees will have difficulty conforming to the shape of your windshield and create streaks.
  • Check squeegee wiping edge for rounded edges which can prevent the wiper blade from making strong contact with the windshield and reduces wipe quality.
  • Tug to ensure wiper blade has been securely installed on the wiper arm.
  • Check that squeegee is secure in the wiper frame.

Remember to check your wiper blades as part of your regular preventative maintenance!

Wiper Blade Maintenance Tips
Visibility is fundamental to safe driving. Although drivers depend on their vehicles’ wiper blades to clear away rain, sleet and snow, many wait to replace them until they need them the most. So remembering to maintain wiper blades regularly can maximize visibility, efficiency and reliability.

Wiper blades deteriorate due to many environmental factors including:

  • Sun: Ultraviolet light and ozone deterioration
  • Oil: Car waxes and exhaust hold rubber-deteriorating oil
  • Airborne debris: Sand, mud and dust carried in the wind
  • Moisture: Acid rain and salt water (in moist air both near the shore and inland)

Remember, wiper blades should be checked every six months and changed at least once a year. Evaluate both the rubber squeegee and the metal frames to avoid common problems such as streaking, skipping, chattering, wearing and splitting – all offenders of reduced visibility and slowed reaction time while driving.

Common Wiper Problems

  • Streaking occurs when the rubber squeegee dries, hardens and cracks. It can also be caused by tree sap, road tar and other foreign substances collected on either the glass or the blade.
  • Skipping occurs when the blade develops a curvature from lack of use (e.g. left in the ‘parked position’ for an extended length of time).
  • Wearing occurs with extensive use and is when the rubber edges are rounded instead of squared.
  • Splitting is caused when the sun’s ultraviolet rays penetrate the rubber squeegee, causing it to breakdown and separate from the frame.
  • Bent Refill Vertebra and Bent Frames cause inconsistent contact with the glass surface, creating streaking or skipping.

Avoid these common problems and extend the life of your wiper blades by following these simple steps:

  • Clean your windshield every time you fill your gas tank.
  • Gently wipe the rubber squeegee with a damp paper towel to remove any loose dirt or oil.
  • Never use your windshield wipers to de-ice your windshield. Instead, either use an ice scraper or use your defroster to melt snow and ice.
  • Pull your wiper blades away from the windshield during winter months to prevent ice build up on the rubber squeegee and to prevent them from sticking to the windshield.

Efficient wiper blades are as important to a vehicle’s safe operation as clean oil and good tires. So remember to change your wiper blades at least once a year, to inspect them frequently for wear and tear and to enjoy the view!

10 Simple Ways to Get Your Conversion Van Ready for winter

Winter Driving ahead

For anyone living in a northern state, Winter means rain, sleet, slush, snow and ice. Driving along icy roads is tricky at the best of times, and there’s not always a plow available to get your road clear in time to go to work for the day. Why not make your life a little easier now, by preparing your conversion van for the coming winter? You can do many small things before the snow starts to fall to make your winter that much easier to handle.

1. Get an oil change. Specifically, get the right sort of oil change. Oil won’t freeze in the kind of temperatures we see in the north, but it will get thicker. Thicker oil does a worse job of keeping your engine lubed up, which means more wear and tear on the moving parts you definitely don’t want to replace. Dirty oil gums up even worse, so get that oil changed before the temperatures drop.

2. Take steps to ensure visibility at all times. The most important and most neglected fluid for visibility is windshield washer fluid. Topping up that tank will save you plenty of headaches when you have to scrape frost off the glass or wait for a heater to melt it. A blast with wiper fluid and a few passes of the wipers will clear it right up. It helps if you clean your windshield inside as well. Of course, you should also have a good snowbrush and ice scraper stored away in the trunk or back seat. 

3. Perk up your battery. The cold and wet conditions of a typical winter can wreak havoc on a battery. Connections will corrode and the batter may lose the ability to hold a charge. The older a battery is, the more likely you’ll run into issues along the way. Most auto shops can test your battery’s ability to hold a charge, and can tell you if you need a new one. Get it looked at before you end up stalled on the side of the freeway.

4. Check the belts and hoses in your engine. Belts and hoses are made of rubber and plastic, which tend to get brittle as they age. The addition of road salt and icy water splashing up onto them only makes the process faster. Take your conversion van in to have it services and pay special attention to the belts and hoses, so you don’t end up dropping fluid or finding a snapped belt while you drive. 

5. Monitor your tire pressure. In wet and icy conditions, traction is key to keeping your conversion van on the road. Your tires are made to function best at a certain level of inflation, which varies depending on the tire. As the temperatures get colder, the pressure of the air in your tires will drop, at about 1 PSI per ten degrees. Keeping your tires inflated properly keeps them working as best they can. 

6. Switch to snow tires, if applicable. Snow tires aren’t for everyone. If you live in the middle of the city and the roads are plowed several times a day, you probably don’t need a lot of extra traction from your tires. On the other hand, if you live in an area with plenty of hills and the plows come few and far between, winter tires might be a good option. 

7. If you have four-wheel drive in your vehicle, test it out. Make sure the system engages smoothly. Since you probably don’t use the system much during the summer, it might have an issue that you don’t notice. Better to get it tested now than to discover it doesn’t work when you need it. Don’t forget to make sure that anyone driving your vehicle knows how to turn the system on and off. For new drivers experiencing their first winter in their parents’ conversion van, this can be all new. 

8. Check your engine coolant. Most conversion vans run on something between pure antifreeze and a half and half mixture of antifreeze and water. Diluted antifreeze is perfectly fine. It would take ridiculously low temperatures to freeze even a half and half mixture, so there’s no sense in wasting half a gallon of coolant when you don’t need it. You can test the mixture of antifreeze yourself, or take it to a mechanic. Check to see if your vehicle uses a special kind of antifreeze as well. Just remember that if you replace your antifreeze yourself, you need to dispose of the old coolant properly. It’s harmful to the environment and illegal in most places to pour antifreeze down the drain. 

9. Stock up on supplies and put together an emergency kit. In the event that something breaks and you’re stranded, having an emergency kit is a lifesaver. Here’s an idea of what you should have in your kit:

  • Blanket, boots, gloves and warm clothes
  • Emergency food and water
  • A snow brush, ice scraper and a small shovel
  • A flashlight with spare batteries and a set of road flares
  • Windshield wipers and extra fluid
  • Repair items like jumper cables, a tool kit, a tire pressure gauge and a spare tire
  • A first aid kit

10. Don’t forget your training. All the tools and supplies in the world won’t help you if you don’t know what to do when you’re broken down. If you’re likely to be stranded for an extended period, light flares for the front and back of your vehicle. Run the engine and heater only for short durations to save gas. Wear your warm clothes to keep warm instead. To prevent your conversion van from freezing shut, crack the window slightly. If you have hard candies with you, you can munch on them to keep your mouth from drying out. Of course, make sure you have contact numbers and a way to call for help if you do end up stranded.