How to Prepare A Winter Emergency Kit for Your Car

With these frigid cold temperatures, freezing rain and snow storms, it is important to be prepared for the worst. Whether you are a local driver or long distance commuter, always be prepared.

A roadside emergency can happen at any time, whether your car is new or old. A range of problems can cause it, from a tire failure or mechanical breakdown to running out of fuel. At best, it’s an annoyance; at worst, it can compromise your safety. Being prepared with a basic emergency kit can increase your safety, reduce stress, and help you get back on the road faster.

Even if you have roadside-assistance coverage or an automobile-club membership with roadside assistance, you usually need access to a phone in order to contact them and you may have to wait on the side of the road for an hour or more before help arrives.

Prepare an emergency car kit

A basic car kit should contain the following:

  • Food that won’t spoil, such as energy bars
  • Water–plastic bottles (replace them every six months)
  • Blanket
  • Extra clothing and shoes or boots
  • First aid kit with seatbelt cutter
  • Small shovel, scraper and snowbrush
  • Candle in a deep can and matches
  • Wind‑up flashlight
  • Whistle–in case you need to attract attention
  • Roadmaps

Items to keep in your trunk:

  • Sand, salt
  • Antifreeze and windshield washer fluid
  • Tow rope
  • Jumper cables
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Warning light or road flares

Survival tips:

  • Prepare your vehicle: Make sure you keep your gas tank at least half full.
  • Be easy to find: Tell someone where you are going and the route you will take.
  • If stuck: Tie a fluorescent flag (from your kit) on your antenna or hang it out the window.
  • At night, keep your dome light on. Rescue crews can see a small glow at a distance.
  • To reduce battery drain, use emergency flashers only if you hear approachingvehicles. If you’re with someone else, make sure at least one person is awake and keeping watch for help at all times.
  • Stay in your vehicle: Walking in a storm can be very dangerous. You might become lost or exhausted. Your vehicle is a good shelter.
  • Avoid Overexertion: Shoveling snow or pushing your car takes a lot of effort in storm conditions. Don’t risk a heart attack or injury. That work can also make you hot and sweaty. Wet clothing loses insulation value, making you susceptible to hypothermia.
  • Fresh Air: It’s better to be cold and awake than comfortably warm and sleepy. Snow can plug your vehicle’s exhaust system and cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to enter your car. Only run the engine for 10 minutes an hour and make sure the exhaust pipe is free of snow. Keeping a window open a crack while running the engine is also a good idea.
  • Don’t expect to be comfortable: You want to survive until you’re found. Follow all of these tips and remember to be safe and cautious during the winter season.

Skyactiv 2 Technology in Mazda Vehicles

The idea behind Mazda Skyactiv 2 technology is to increase the vehicle’s output, while also improving its fuel efficiency and offering drivers the best of both worlds. While it might have seemed like a sales gimmick at first, Skyactiv technology has been a very serious investment by Mazda in creating quality vehicles that more drivers will want to get their hands on. In several way this investment has really paid off, making Mazda a more highly regarded manufacturer by customers and by the automotive industry as a whole.

Specific Skyactiv Technologies

Skyactiv technologies are located in several parts of Mazda vehicles. The main place that much of the attention is focused is on a Mazda’s engine, where it creates a highly compressed reaction in order to create more power with less required fuel input. The idea is simple, even if the technology is complex. The internal combustion engine is driven by explosions that force movement. If there is more pressure created, but less fuel is required, then there is more force to drive the engine even though there’s less fuel consumed. That is, in essence, the first step Mazda used to create a car that gives drivers more while taking in less.

In addition to an engine that offers driver’s a great deal more, these vehicles also have highly efficient transmissions combined with the proper frame and platform. In any vehicle the transmission is a primary source of wasted power, since shifting gears inefficiently can cause all kinds of problems. The Skyactiv 2 transmission is extremely efficient, making sure there’s as little waste as possible when it comes time to shift from one gear to the next. In addition to the transmission, these Mazda vehicles are built with a chassis that is lightweight, strong, and exceeds all safety regulations. When combined with the previous two parts of the Skyactiv 2 technology platform, the chassis results in extra efficiency, as there’s less power required to drive a car that weighs less and is aerodynamically designed.

Skyactiv 2 Vehicles Leap Ahead

All of this energy efficiency has been noticed by drivers. Once Skyactiv technology was introduced into Mazda vehicles their sales shot up to the highest levels since 2008. While some models do sell more quickly than others, such as the all new Mazda6 which was released in 2014, all models that use Skyactiv technology have made impressive numbers of sales in North America.

On the one hand, Mazda’s success means that it is still considered to be one of the major car companies in America. On the other hand, it’s entirely possible that Mazda will claim a higher spot than it has in the past due to the success and acceptance of its Skyactiv 2 technology and all of the advantages it brings to its customers. Their future is uncertain, but based on the current data Skyactiv 2 technology is definitely here to stay.