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Over the river and through the woods, or more like, down the icy mountain and over the windy bridge. Around the snow-filled plows and through the congested parkways! Cassidy used to say that every time he was in the snow, he’d get a new wrinkle. After 15 years in California, with only occasional and OPTIONAL jaunts to Lake Tahoe or even back here on the east coast, he didn’t come across snow too often. What I say is that every time I have to drive in the snow, with kids, I get a gray hair.
Every time I drive in snow, I say it will be the last time. I will never go through it again. And then, we get a freak snowstorm in October (three inches last month!) and Scarlet is coming home from the School’s Out Club on a bus going 15 mph from Springfield, MA, and I’m in the car with Des – wringing my hands and saying, “I thought we had more time before this. I’m not prepared for THIS. No one is ever prepared for THIS.. in October.” Want the good news? You CAN be prepared for THIS.
I have some pretty hilarious holiday travel stories under my belt! There was the Christmas Eve that I flew into JFK Airport from San Francisco around midnight – after severe delays – and the entire airport had run out of rental cars. I had to drive two hours to northwest NJ and had to wait for them to drive in a car from Manhattan. In traffic. Then there was the time we got caught in a snowbank on our way from Cassidy’s mom’s house to Logan International. All of the neighbors came out to help! Perhaps the best story was when we got caught in a blizzard in Vermont and had to drive off a mountain to Boston, then board a rocky flight to New York City, and then a six hour one to San Francisco. I had the middle seat! The scariest part was the drive off the mountain. Luckily, our brains were filled with the goodness of the weekend – shooting stars & dog sledding.
Ten Smart Ways to Winterize Your Car
1 – Let’s start with the most important one! Pack and keep an emergency kit in your car. While you probably already have a spare tire, the tools to change one, and jumper cables, pack flashlights, flares, extra gloves, a blanket, boots, coats.
2 – Check or replace windshield wipers and windshield fluids. You tend to need them more than ever in the winter – with the snow, the ice, and even the salt. It is recommended to replace wipers every six to 12 months.
3 – Check and maintain defrosting and heating. Ever morning our windshields have been fogging up lately. I tell Scarlet it’s because the moisture from inside the car condenses on the glass and makes it difficult to see and drive. Defrosters are wonderful – but only if functioning properly. If it’s too much fogging, there may be an air leak in the car. Check heating too!
4 – Keep your fuel tank full. I know it’s easier said than done. It’s more important than ever in the winter – with cold and shifting temperatures. It’s also important to have a full tank in case of a power outage or other emergency.
5 – Check your battery. They should last about five years, but it’s best to keep track of when it’s time to get a new one. The winter months are tougher on engines, which puts more pressure on the battery.
6 – Check your tire air pressure and consider using snow tires. Here in New England we get studded tires in the winter, and have to have them off by May. We carry such important cargo (our kids!) over pretty icy roads, whether we like to or not.
7 – Check your car’s belts and hoses. We get this done when we send our car in for a tune-up.
8 – Service your vehicle regularly, especially if I missed anything on this list! The Auto Care Center will look.
9 – Keep your car clean of debris. For many reasons, including safety and comfort.
10 – Head to your nearest Walmart Automotive Care Center for 1-stop shopping – which includes an oil change using Pennzoil® motor oil. Not to mention, it’s $49.88 on Rollback to $44.88 through December 27, 2016.
You can drop your car at the Walmart Automotive Care Center for an oil change, while doing your holiday, trip, grocery, or anything shopping. Personally, I leave my oil changes to the experts.
Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil with PurePlus™ Technology keeps pistons up to 20% cleaner than required by the toughest industry standard and keeps your engine cleaner than any leading synthetic oil. Full synthetic oil performs much better in extreme hot and cold temperatures, which we seem to have in spades here in New England. Walmart Automotive Care Centers in the following states are now able to benefit from oil changes with Pennzoil® Platinum Full Synthetic: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
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