How to prepare your car for driving in bad weather

Posted at 11:17 AM, Dec 29, 2016

Before hitting the road in the rain and snow, you'll want to make sure your car is prepared. 

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene suggests keeping the following on hand: 

  • Rechargeable flashlight
  • Cellphone and car charger
  • Extra food and water
  • Flares
  • Tools: jack, lug wrench, shovel
  • Road maps
  • Blanket/sleeping bag(s)
  • Extra warm clothes, boots, hat and gloves
  • First aid kit
  • Pocket knife
  • Matches or lighter
  • Battery jumper cables
  • Ice scraper and snow brush
  • Paper towels
  • Extra washer fluid
  • Chains or traction tires
  • Small snow shovel
  • Kitty litter for tire traction

If your car gets stuck, run your heater for short periods of time, and crack a window to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Listen to the radio for emergency updates and stay hydrated. 

Contrary to popular belief, drivers should also avoid idling their vehicle to warm it up. 

RELATED: Don't idle to warm up your car; here's why

Modern-day fuel injection technology, advanced computer systems for delivery that automatically adjusts distribution in whatever temperature you're in and common, thinner synthetic oils get your engine lubricated much quicker.

The EPA says driving the car will warm it up faster than idling, both the inside heat and under the hood, and a brief idling time of no more than 30 seconds is all that's needed.

RELATED: Baltimore weather forecast

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