Residents of the high country
are usually prepared for winter weather. However,
if you are not used to driving on snow and
ice, you will want to check your vehicle thoroughly
before heading to the high country of Arizona.
Battery—Starting cold puts heavy demand on a vehicle’s battery.
Radiator—Make sure the antifreeze is tested for below freezing levels.
Wipers—Install new wiper blades and windshield cleaner/solvent.
Ignition system—Have a mechanic verify that your ignition system is working properly.
Thermostat—Have a mechanic test your thermostat to be certain it will function in the cold.
Lights—Be sure that headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals are functioning.
Exhaust system—A faulty exhaust system can result in carbon monoxide poisoning and death. Check exhaust pipes and mufflers for leaks.
Heater—You may not use it in the desert, but be sure it is working before heading to the high country.
Brakes—Check to be sure they are properly working.
Defroster—A foggy windshield in cold weather results in limited visibility.
Oil level—Replace your summer oil with winter grade oil if you anticipate driving in cold climates.
Tires—Need we say how important good traction is on snow and ice? Snow tires, chains or studded tires are recommended for travel in snowy, mountainous areas.
If you drive in the desert, you know the value of carrying drinking water with you. Maintain that same habit in the high country. If you get stranded in cold weather, you are going to need plenty of drinking water.
We also recommend having a cell phone and/or a citizen’s band radio for emergency communication. Other items to stock in your vehicle for your trip include:
- Flash light and spare batteries.
- Battery operated radio.
- Ice scraper.
- First aid kit.
- REMEMBER to bring your prescription medications and pain reliever.
- Brightly colored scarf for wearing and for signaling an emergency. You can also use a CD–ROM or mirror for signaling for help if the conditions are conducive for signaling.
- Sleeping bags and/or blankets.
- Extra gloves, mittens, socks and wool caps.
- Winter coats and raincoats.
- Candles and matches or lighter. A couple of small candles can raise the interior temperature of a car and help you stay warm if you are stranded. However, please exercise caution and common sense if you must use candles.
- Small bag of sand for wheel traction.
- Small folding shovel for snow removal.
- Battery booster cables.
- Travel tool kit. Make sure your winter emergency kit includes basic car repair tools such as an extra set of fuses, duct tape, bailing wire, extra nuts and bolts, screw drivers, multipurpose tool, needle nose pliers, and a crescent wrench.
- Safety flares.
- Plastic bags and/or containers for sanitation.
- Pre-packaged fruits, nuts & nutrition bars.
- Road map.