Magazine article Soldiers Magazine

Cold Weather: Driving Tips

Magazine article Soldiers Magazine

Cold Weather: Driving Tips

Article excerpt

AT some point this year, many people will have a run-in with "Old-Man Winter." To prepare for the inevitable rain, wind, snow and ice, people typically ensure that their cold-weather clothing is ready to wear.

Preparing vehicles for the changing climate is equally important to staying on schedule and avoiding frustrations. By doing a little preventive maintenance, you should be able to keep your vehicle safely on the road.

How well a vehicle responds to cold-weather conditions is usually up to the operator. Whether you're driving a privately owned or government vehicle, a little maintenance goes a long way, according to officials at Fort Bragg, N.C.'s, Public Safety Business Center.

Failing to properly service your vehicle could leave you stranded or, even worse, in a life-threatening situation, officials said.

Here's a checklist of things you should do to ensure your vehicle's ready for winter: (If you're driving a military vehicle, follow the maintenance checklist provided by your motor pool for your military-unique vehicle.)

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It's also a good idea to carry some survival items in your vehicle that might come in handy should you become stranded. Those include a shovel, traction mats, flashlight, tow chain or strap, tool kit, first-aid kit, flares, dry sand, tire chains, sleeping bags or blankets, ice scraper, candles and matches.

Periodically recheck your vehicle to ensure it is properly maintained. If you're mechanically challenged, have a qualified mechanic complete the work that is beyond your abilities.

When traveling in extreme conditions, you may have to depend on your vehicle for survival. Don't let your negligence ii be the reason it lets you down.

* Check radiator hoses for leaks and cracks, and ensure clamps are tight. Replace cracked or brittle hoses. …

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