What to Keep in Your Car’s Winter Emergency Kit

emergency Items close up

Whether you are someone who travels extensively or you commute a short way back and forth to work, you should have an emergency kit in your vehicle, even if all of your driving is city driving. You never know when something might happen even to a new vehicle, or when Mother Nature might have a hissy fit and cause you to get stranded in ice or snow. As soon as you pick up a vehicle from Jack Links Auto, move your emergency kit into it or make a kit for the new vehicle.

Seasonal Items

During the cooler months, make sure you have extra blankets and a large tarp in your emergency kit. Each person in the vehicle should have a heavy, warm blanket. During the warmer months, a light blanket for each person will be enough. The tarp will help protect you from the weather and will provide warmth if you cannot stay in the vehicle.

During the winter also be sure to have a change of warn dry clothing. During the spring months, the extra set of clothing just needs to be dry, but preferably not shorts.

Items that Expire

You should always have extra water and extra food in the vehicle. Rotate these items every month. The food should be non-perishable. You don’t have to rotate the food out as often as water and if it has clear expiration date, rotate it out about a month before the expiration date. Don’t forget that batteries have an expiration date, too, and you should have at least one extra set. Two sets are better.

First Aid

Make sure you have a large first aid kit and not something with very little in it, especially if you plan on traveling or a long distance. You should have various sizes of bandages, gauze, medical tape, an Ace bandage, splints, eye wash, tweezers, needle and thread., unopened Super Glue, anti-bacterial cream, cotton swabs, alcohol wipes and a thermometer.

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Stop by Jack Links Auto today to test drive a pre-owned certified vehicle or three and to learn more about your favorite model’s features.

Safely Driving in the Snow

Winter scenic of slippery and wet rural mountain road with snow on sunny day

Whether you’re driving a brand new vehicle that you just picked up from Jack Link’s Auto or you’re driving a vehicle that is a year or two old, you may need driving safety tips for the winter. If your vehicle is older, you do need to bring it in to our service department to have it checked for the winter and to have the maintenance completed if you haven’t done so already.

Have Your Vehicle Checked or Maintained

Having your vehicle checked or maintained before the winter weather sets in could save you from getting stranded in the cold. A service technician will be able to look at parts that tend to wear out such as belts, hoses, brakes and tires and will let you know if he or she thinks that anything is going to wear out within the next couple months.

Emergency Kit

Be sure you have an emergency kit in your vehicle at all times. This should include – at a minimum – extra clothing, blankets, a flashlight, extra batteries, reflective triangles, non-perishable snacks, water and a first aid kit.

Watch For Black Ice

Most experienced drivers know to look for black ice, but newer drivers who have never experienced it before might be surprised when they hit it. You can’t see it in most cases. You’ll most likely find black ice on bridges, in areas where the road is shady or in areas where runoff is running onto the road. Sometimes you’ll get a warning if the sun hits it just right; however, to keep yourself safe, approach shady spots and bridges with caution.

Drive Slowly in the Fog

When it’s foggy, slow down. Not only is visibility poor, but if you’re going from a warm night to a cold morning – and that is what is causing the fog – the fog could freeze when it hits the ground. And this could turn deadly fast. Whether you are driving on the highway or you are driving on a back road, be very careful of fog, especially if it is cooler out.

Stop by Jack Link’s Auto

Be sure to stop by Jack Link’s Auto to test drive a new vehicle if you are in the market for something new. Give our service department a call if you need to have your vehicle checked or serviced.

Tips to Winterize Your Vehicle

Lonely car in motion blur on the road in winter landscape

When you pick up your new vehicle from Links Auto Supercenter, you’ll want to winterize it as soon as possible. Some of the things will already be in place from the dealership, but some things you’ll have to add yourself. If you have a vehicle that is just a couple years old and are not ready for a new car just yet, you’ll still need to winterize it; and you’ll need to check everything on the list.


If you prefer to use summer and winter tires, changing them out at the season changes, check your vehicle’s winter tires for dry rot and low tread. If they look great, it’s time to dig them out and put them on. If not, you’ll need to get another set or switch to all-season tires.

If your vehicle has all-season tires on it, check to ensure that the tires have enough tread to get through the winter, are balanced properly and that your suspension is properly aligned.


Have your vehicle checked over carefully before the first snow falls. Even if it’s not time for regular maintenance, you should bring the vehicle in to have our technicians check the tires, brakes, belts, hoses, battery, alternator and other mechanical aspects. Also, if your owner’s manual recommends a different weight oil for the winter, you’ll need to get an oil change.

Emergency Supplies

Emergency supplies are often overlooked, especially with those that rarely travel outside the city. However, even in the city, they could save your life. In a bad snowstorm, you may not be rescued from your situation for hours. Those extra blankets and warm clothes, and the food and water could come in handy.

If you often travel on less populated roads, you should definitely have an emergency supply cache, including the blankets, extra clothing, first aid kit, matches, flashlight, extra batteries, extra water and plenty of non-perishable, high-energy food to last everyone in the vehicle for at least two days.

Visit Links Auto Supercenter

Stop by Links Auto Supercenter to test drive a new vehicle or give our service department a call to set up an appointment to winterize your vehicle.

What the Dashboard Icons Mean

Tachometer red-line with warning indicators

The dash has warning lights for a reason – they tell you that something is wrong with your vehicle. Depending on which light comes on, you should tow or drive your vehicle to Link Ford in Minong to have it checked by our service department.

“Dummy” Lights

Most vehicles have gauges for the oil and water, but some, especially older vehicles, have dummy lights for the oil and water. When these lights come on, it’s usually too late. The oil light lights up when there is next to no oil pressure or no oil pressure. You should shut the vehicle off immediately. The water light means that the vehicle is overheating. The problem with overheating is that even when you shut the vehicle off, it has heat sink and could still damage the engine.

If you don’t have gauges for the oil and water, you should have aftermarket gauges installed. You could check the oil and water every week, but that is not a guarantee that you will catch a problem before the lights come on.

Service Engine Soon Light

The service engine soon light means that something is wrong with the vehicle’s fuel management system. The sensors communicate with the computer to tell it how much gas and air to dump into the engine to make it run. When you press on the gas, the throttle position sensor tells the computer you want to go faster, and in turn, the computer instructs the injectors to dump more fuel and the air intake to allow more air to keep the proper mixture.

If the service engine soon light comes on, it means that one or more of the sensors are not working. If the light is giving a soft oxygen sensor code, that usually means that the mixture of gas and air is incorrect. If the dealership pulls the codes and finds erroneous codes or several codes that don’t make sense, you could have a bad powertrain control module.

Visit Jack Link Ford

While you may be able to scan the codes and erase them yourself, you should bring your vehicle in to Link Ford in Minong to have it scanned and properly diagnosed so you are not throwing parts at the vehicle. Everything on the engine affects something else, so a bad plug, wire or anything else could be affecting the sensor’s communication with the powertrain module.

Tips for Driving With Your Pet in the Car


When you pick up a new vehicle from Link Ford in Minong, you will probably pick up something while keeping your pet in mind. Some vehicles are better for taking your pet with you than others. Whether you choose a sedan or SUV, there are ways to keep your pet safe.


When possible, keep your pets crated in the vehicle. If you should get into an accident, the crate will hopefully hold together so that your pet doesn’t get loose on the highway. It would be a shame for your pet to survive a bad accident only to get hit on the highway. Also, a crate keeps your pet from being thrown into the front seat or into the windshield should you have to come to fast stop or should you hit something.

Seat Belts and Harnesses

Sometimes, it’s just not possible to create your pet. Have fun trying to fit a Great Dane-sized crate in a vehicle, even an SUV. Your best option is to get a harness for your pet. This keeps the pet from sliding around the seat, trying to jump in the front, distracting the driver and keeps your pet safe in the event of an accident. Most harnesses attach to the seat belt.

Look for a harness that has been crash tested, that has a broad padded chest plate, that is compatible with your vehicle’s seat belts, that is adjustable to your dog’s size and that has all metal hardware. Other attributes should include the ability to function as a walking harness and that it has a good seat belt loop.

Car Sickness

If your dog gets car sick, you can still take it with you. Check with your vet about the proper dosages of Dramamine. You just have to remember to give it to the dog about a half hour before you leave. This will keep you from having to clean up any messes in your vehicle.

Visit Link Ford Minong

Visit Link Ford in Minong for auto sales, service, and accessories. Our salespeople will help you find something that suits every member of your family, including your pets.

Child Seat Need To Know in Wisconsin


September is National Car Seat Safety Month, so it’s the perfect time to address this important topic. No cargo is more precious than your children, so it’s vital that you know how to keep them as safe as possible when they’re in the car. Proper use of the child seat is of top priority, as it is designed to protect your child in the event of an accident. The more properly it is used, the higher likelihood it has of doing its job.

Rear Face as Long as Possible

Rear facing is the best direction for a car seat. Rear facing is 5 times safer than forward facing and can be done up to 2 to 3 years old. This protects the legs better, avoids broken glass from the windshield, and, though the back seat is better, if they have to be in the front it prevents the airbag from impacting the child.

The Back, Center Seat is Safest

The center seat in the back is nearly 50% safer than the side seats. Since rear facing is safer than forward facing, if you have more than one child and one of those children is too old to rear face, put them in the center and your rear facing child on the side to maximize everyone’s chances of coming out of an accident unharmed.

Safety Harnesses Should be Snug and Properly Placed

Safety harnesses and belts should be tight on the body. They should also be placed properly. For your standard car seat, the harness should be up on the infant or toddler’s sternum, just below the collar bone. Make sure that it’s not up on the neck or down on the belly. For a standard seat belt for older children, the belt should go across the shoulder and onto the chest. If it’s on the neck, your child ought to be sitting in a booster seat.

Visit Link Ford Minong

If you’re on the market for a new car, truck, or SUV, visit us at Link Ford Minong. Whether you need auto sales, service, parts, or accessories, Link Ford Minong has got you covered. If you’re interested in cars with good safety features for your little ones, just let us know and we’ll point out the top-rated models.

Stay Safe, Healthy and Happy This Summer


From the sun’s harmful rays to high temperatures and pesky bugs, the remaining days of summer can be more harmful than you may think. But you don’t have to let summer’s down sides ruin your fun. Follow these simple safety tips to help you and your family stay healthy and happy this summer.

Beat the Heat

If you and your family are not accustomed to hot weather, heatstroke or other heat-related illnesses can ruin your summer fun. Don’t perform difficult physical activities in high temperatures, and always drink plenty of liquids whenever you’re outside in the heat.

Swim Safely

Swimming in rivers, lakes, pools or the ocean can be some of the best summer fun, but it’s often dangerous too. Always watch your children closely when they’re swimming and choose beaches, pools and other swimming spots with lifeguards on duty. Don’t forget to ensure your entire family is outfitted with the proper flotation devices when you’re spending time out on the water too.

Keep Bugs at Bay

No one wants to be itching and scratching from morning until night. Use insect repellents with 10 to 30-percent DEET on kids and adults older than 2 months. Repellents with DEET can help save you and your family from insect-related illnesses like Lyme Disease and the West Nile Virus.

Bike Carefully

Bike rides and summertime go hand-in-hand, but busy roads can cause some serious threats to your family’s safety. Always ensure your children are wearing helmets that fit properly, and never rush them into riding a two-wheeled bike (or bike that’s too big for them) before they’re ready. If you’re headed out biking with your kids this summer, wear a helmet to help them establish good biking habits.

Travel Safely

Road trips are one of our favorite summer activities, but it’s important to travel in a vehicle that will keep your entire family safe. If you’re in need of a new vehicle this summer, come browse our huge selection of new and used cars, trucks and SUVs here at Link Ford Minong.

Remember to Fasten that Seat Belt!


The roads will be filled with car this summer. After all, summer means day trips, vacations, and fun. There are a lot of things to do before planning a trip. There is one particular thing we want you to do before heading out. That is to remember to fasten your seat belt.

You may understand that fastening your seat belt can save your life. But did you realize that having your passengers fastening their seatbelts it may also save your life? A story from ABC News made the claim, sharing information from a University of Tokyo study.

The survey looked at 100,000 front seat occupants involved in car-to-car crashes in Japan. In each of these cases there were also at least two rear seat passengers. In head on crashes in particular, the results were astounding.

In these accidents where the rear seat passengers were not wearing seat belts, it increased the chances of dying for the driver by over 600%. If that’s not disturbing enough, it increased the chances of death for the front seat passenger by over 700%. The reason? When rear seat passengers are not wearing restraints and a head on near head on accident occurs, many times they are catapulted into the front seat. The force of even just a 30mph collision can send the rear passenger traveling at a force of 2.5 tons into the front seat occupants.

The study suggests that total number of deaths could be reduced by just about 80% in these cases if the rear seat passengers were wearing seat belts. This is really important to consider before your family heads out on the highways this summer.

Look, you know the patrols will be out and a traffic ticket can be costly. We want you to buckle up for a much more important reason: the safety of you and your family. Especially now that you know your risk of serious injury as a driver or front seat passenger are greater when your rear seat passengers aren’t fastened in. We hope you will make it a point to make sure all are secure.

Come see us at Link Ford of Rice Lake

Have an enjoyable summer, but remember to have everyone fasten their seat belts. Before you hit the road this summer, come visit us at Link Ford of Rice Lake. We can set you up with a new or used vehicle. Be sure to ask us which ones have excellent safety ratings.