How To Prepare Your Vehicle For Winter Travel

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Winter road trips present unique travel challenges that Tony’s Brake & Alignment helps customers and their referrals in or near Louisville, KY, prepare for. As your local NAPA AutoCare Center and Michelin Alliance Dealer, our ASE-certified auto mechanics believe safe travel in cold weather, free of avoidable auto repair, is actually a partnership between our customers and the shop’s ASE-certified auto mechanics. “Preparation and planning are the keys to a perfect Winter trip,” advises Robert Ohlmann, the third generation owner of Tony’s Brake & Alignment.

When Ben Franklin suggested, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” he may have been talking about Winter travel. Back then, it was horse and buggies, but that wisdom applies to the herds of horses in automobiles today. In addition to handling the driving, travellers face the risks of being stuck in the snow, being delayed or stranded should roads be closed while enroute, and worse, having their vehicle stop working when in the cold and far from home.

Here are a few things to take care of before heading out on your journey:

Forewarned is forearmed — Be in the know, before you go. If you haven’t ever used tire chains, mount them in your driveway or garage; you don’t want the cold and snow to be the time to figure out how. Remember to take a car charger for your phone. Use your radio or weather app to stay informed about approaching winter weather hazards and road conditions. Arrange for, and update regularly, a contact back home or at your destination of your progress along the way. Keep your fuel tank near full so you are sure you’ll be able to keep warm if you have to stop unexpectedly enroute. Understand the difference between a Winter “storm watch” and a “storm warning” (the latter is more ominous). And frankly, if you know you’re headed into a blizzard, just get off the road, grab a hotel and enjoy the safe and sound time with your family.

  • Prepare your vehicles with a Winter pit stop — Replace stress and worry with driving peace of mind. Bring your vehicle to Tony’s Brake & Alignment for a winter maintenance check-up before you leave. Let the shop’s ASE-certified auto mechanics inspect and ensure your battery, fluids, belts, hoses, radiator, lights, brakes, heater/defroster, wipers, exhaust system and other cold-sensitive systems are winter-ready.
  • Plan to weather any emergency — Before you leave, ensure your car has a winter travel kit onboard that includes a flashlight, batteries, jumper cables, boots, small plastic tarp, tire chains, ice scraper/snow brush, road flares, emergency road sign, portable shovel and bag of cat litter for added traction should you need then. In addition, pack a survival “go kit” in case you’re delayed, stuck or stranded. Include medications, first aid supplies, one blanket per person, extra wool toques and mittens, one-inch thick candles, waterproof matches, drinking water, nutritious snacks, etc.
  • Be survival savvy — Do you know what to do to ensure your safety and comfort if you get stuck or are stopped roadside because of a storm, avalanche or other Winter hazard?  First, set out flares and signage to make sure your vehicle is as visible as possible. Ensure your exhaust tailpipe is clear of snow and crack a window open so your can run your car for heat for 5-10 minutes every half-hour without fear of carbon monoxide poisoning. Remain in or nearby your vehicle; don’t risk becoming disorientated by wandering off in blizzard or whiteout conditions. Finally, remember to stay hydrated and fed … use the drinking water and snacks you packed for this reason.

Here at Tony’s Brake & Alignment, we’ve always had a reputation for caring for our customers and employees. “Our customer service is what sets Tony’s Brake & Alignment apart,” Ohlmann shared. “We put people before money, and our customers here in the Louisville area tell us that in-person or in the reviews they share on our website.

Are you, or someone you know, looking for a trustworthy shop in Louisville you can count on to treat you right and help keep you and safe? Please feel welcome to call us, schedule an appointment online, or visit Tony’s Brake & Alignment at 4800 Poplar Level Road, Louisville, KY 40213, Monday to Friday, between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM.

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