Tips for Being Stranded in the Wintertime

Being stranded with your car on the side of the road, on a freezing cold winter night is a nightmare come true. But you can plan for that event, and maybe not eliminate it, but lessen the pain.

Check your battery.

Has your car been slow to turnover? This could be a sign of a weak battery. If your battery is weak, then rest assured it’s winter when it’s going to go dead. Low temperatures in winter present the biggest challenge for car batteries. Ask a mechanic to test your battery to see how it’s holding a charge. Obviously, if the battery has seen better days, it’s a good idea to know this and replace it before you’re caught stranded on the side of the road.

Perform winter car maintenance.

Check your tires. It’s important to not overinflate your tires in winter. Overinflated tires are more likely to slide than those a bit underinflated. Slightly underinflated tires will offer better traction because more of the tire tread is on the road. But before you go deflating your tires, check the manufacturer’s specs or talk with your mechanic. This leads us to the next paragraph. 

Before the colder weather hits and the snow falls, take your vehicle to be inspected by a trusted mechanic who can help to field the bigger issues before they happen. Depending on your car, the mechanic may recommend a winter-friendly engine oil or recommend other repairs.

Stay safe while you’re stranded.

If you end up on the side of the road with a disabled vehicle, stay calm. Put on your emergency lights. This is especially important if it’s raining, snowing, or sleeting. Hopefully, you have Roadside Rescue or another type of roadside assistance program.

This is not the time to discover that your phone has died. In winter, it’s especially important to have a charged phone at the ready. Take the time now to invest in an inexpensive portable phone charger. And always check your cell phone battery level, so that you can charge it before you break down.

Keeping a blanket or two in your car at all times is a simple, easy way to ensure extra protection in the case of being stranded in the winter. 

Emergency roadside kits are recommended. You’ve seen it when you’re driving. A car or truck that has a lit flare behind their vehicle is much easier to see. It can prevent a disaster. You can’t always avoid a breakdown, but you can be prepared in the event one happens.

Comprehensive, low-cost, automobile roadside coverage is also an important part of staying safe during an unfortunate breakdown. Call us at 1-800-464-3226 or send us a message to find out how GEBCO can help.