No matter what time of the year it is, we all know that there are a few things you should have in your vehicle at all times, including a first aid kit, spare tire, jack, and flashlight. In the winter we can expect the added difficulty of things like ice, snow, and other inclement weather. That makes winter a time when a few extra tools can really come in handy. Here’s a list of 10 things that we think every motorist should have on hand when they’re on the road to make your winter driving a little less worry-free.
An Ice Scraper and Snow Brush
Having snow or ice blocking your field of view is dangerous, leaving you at risk of driving off of the road or even ending up in an accident. And did you know it’s actually illegal in Illinois to drive with snow or ice covering your windows? That’s why you should always make it a habit to clear your vehicle each morning. Scrapers are inexpensive and easy to find, and many even come with a snow brush on one end.
Hate having to scrape snow and ice off of your windshield every morning? Invest in a windshield cover! These easy-to-use accessories simply magnetize or hook on to your vehicle, preventing ice and snow from building up while your vehicle is parked.
Not a fan of windshield covers or scraping your windows? Grab a bottle of windshield de-icing fluid! This handy tool melts snow, ice, and frost on contant. It can even help thaw frozen locks. As an added bonus, it poses no risk to your vehicle’s paint, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally spraying some on your accident.
If you live outside of the city, waiting for snow plows to come clear your road may not exactly suit your work schedule. Snow chains are an inexpensive tool that help you drive through snow with less risk of slipping by giving you extra grip. They may be a little awkward to get on the first few times, but once you’re used to it the process is quite quick and easy.
Nobody wants to get stuck somewhere with a dead battery – especially when it is cold outside. With a set of jumper cables, you can give your battery a jump. This should get your vehicle running long enough for you to either get home, or get to your neighborhood Chicagoland Jiffy Lube ® to have the battery tested and replaced.
If you do happen to have a breakdown, being seen by other motorists is important for both your safety and theirs. That’s why you should have a set of reflective triangles on hand. These foldable, high-visibility markers will help alert other drivers that your vehicle is disabled, as well as help tow truck drivers find you.
While this may seem like somewhat of a frivolous item, electric blankets can be handy to have in your vehicle. Today there are options that plug into your car’s charging ports. They’re perfect for road trips, or for warming up after going for a walk to enjoy holiday lights or other festivities.
For anyone who lives or travels through rural areas, you know how common it can be to see wildlife near the road. While a small animal may be able to dart out of your way, large animals such as deer often can’t. Animal whistles are small devices that mount to your vehicle and emit an ultrasonic sound that only animals can hear. This helps alert wildlife to your vehicle, and help keep them out of the road.
Heavy Duty Floor Mats
With all of the snow and salt on the roads and parking lots through winter, you can end up tracking a lot of mess into your vehicle. Over time, road salt can actually bleach your carpet. That’s why you should invest in some heavy-duty rubber floor mats. These mats help catch water and debris, and are very simple to clean. Just pull them out, spray them off, and let them dry.
Another item that may seem a little strange that we recommend is cat litter. This handy product can actually be a great help in the snow. If you ever find yourself stuck in the snow or on a patch of ice, cat litter can help get your tires some extra tracktion to get you out.
When temperatures drop and driving starts to get a little more difficult, these products can be a big help in making your day as smooth and easy as possible. As always, your neighborhood Chicagoland Jiffy Lube ® is here to help you with all of your regular maintenance needs so your vehicle is always in tip-top shape. Stop by anytime, no appointment necessary, so that You Can Do More in a Jiffy™!
Jiffy Lube® recommends following manufacturer recommendations, where applicable, for maintenance schedules and service intervals.
Not all services are offered at each Jiffy Lube® location. Please check with your local Jiffy Lube® service center for specific services offered.