Common Roadside Fixes You Can Do Yourself This Winter

Common Roadside Fixes You Can Do Yourself This Winter

How to Handle Breaking Down in Winter

Breaking down can happen at any time of the year, but it’s more common in the winter. While this isn’t the best time of year to break down since it’s cold, dark, and brings adverse road conditions, there are certain roadside fixes you can do yourself that will save you from calling assistance.

Change a Flat Tire

Winter driving can be rough, especially on your tires. Before you get on the road, make sure you have all the tools you need, including:

  • A spare tire
  • A jack to lift the car up
  • A lug nut wrench or tire iron to remove and tighten the lug nut
  • A tire block

When you hear something go wrong with your tire:

  • Pull over to a safe place, turn off the car, and turn on your hazard lights
  • Put the tire blocks under the tire on the opposite corner of the one you’re changing to balance the vehicle
  • Take off the hubcap and loosen the lug nuts
  • Lift the car with the jack (consult your manual to see where to position your car jack)
  • Remove the lug nuts and flat tire
  • Put on the spare tire
  • Replace the lug nuts
  • Lower the vehicle and give the lug nuts a final turn
  • Replace the hubcap

Jump Start Your Vehicle

No matter where it happens, a dead battery is always a dreaded sound to hear. When it leaves you out in the cold winter, you’ll want to act quickly so that you don’t get chilled.

  • Read your owner’s manual to find the battery and make sure the car can be jump-started
  • Find a willing motorist to help
  • Pop both hoods and locate the batteries
  • Attach the cables (put the red ends on the + part of the batteries, first the good battery and then yours. One black end should clip to the – sign of the good battery and the other black one clamps to an unpainted metal surface on your car
  • Start the good car
  • Start your car
  • Disconnect the cables in the reverse order they were connected

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