Winter Driving Tips

March 2, 2018

Clearing off the Windshield and Vehicle before you Drive

  In the winter you will want to make sure that your vehicle is cleared off completely before you drive. The best way to do this, and the most effective way is to first start your vehicle. Turn on the defrost for your vehicle, front and rear windshield, and turn the heat on high. If you notice an issue with the defroster or heater of your vehicle, make sure to schedule an appointment and bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for you. Use a brush to wipe off all the snow from the car, making sure the front grill is clear. You will want to make sure the snow and any ice chunks are removed from the hood and roof of your vehicle. When you drive, the snow can blow onto the windshield and cause poor visibility or freeze on the windshield. It could also blow and impair the visibility of other drivers on the road as well. As the engine warms the car from the inside, get scraping from the outside. Don’t wipe windows with your hands – your mitts will leave greasy smudges. Scrape not only just an area you can see from, but the entire windshield and side windows on the vehicle. You will also want to check the side mirrors to ensure they are free from ice and snow. You will need to use them to check for vehicles beside or behind you. As you clear off the windshield, remember to never use boiling water on glass. The rapid expansion and contraction of the ice can cause the screen to crack. Instead, keep the defroster running, and scrape the ice, snow, or frost off with a scraper. It’s worth waiting an extra few minutes to make sure your car is safe to drive before you head out in the icy weather.
January 19, 2018

Tips for Driving in the Winter

Slowing down is the most important thing to do when driving on ice and snow. High speeds make it both easy to lose control and difficult to stop. In many cases, much slower speeds are necessary. You can slide off of the road on certain types of more treacherous icing – like black ice – at 10mph or less. If you’re fishtailing or sliding at all, it means you are going too fast for the conditions.   You will also want to pay attention to the weather. This includes where you are leaving from, where you are headed, and any roads or areas you are driving. This can help you to be aware of what the roads will be like, and how you should drive. Brake application is a common trigger of slides that result in a loss of vehicle control. ABS (antilock brakes) do not work well on ice and snow, and often will lock up your wheels regardless. Sliding wheels are uncontrollable, that is, steering input will not change the vehicle’s direction if the wheels are sliding. If you’re fishtailing or sliding, it usually means you are going too fast. Reduce your speed so you won’t need to worry about this! Most high-speed slides are difficult to correct successfully. If you’re caught off guard and begin sliding, turn your wheels in the direction that the rear of your car is sliding. It helps to look with your eyes where you want the car to go, and turn the steering wheel in that direction. It is easy to steer too far, causing the car to slide in the other direction. You will also want to make sure that your vehicle has a winter survival kit, so incase you are in an accident, you will have plenty of things to keep you warm, signal for help, and something to eat or a bottle of water to drink.
December 29, 2017

Driving your Vehicle in Winter

  When snow falls, even in small amounts, it can be time consuming to clear off your vehicle. Clearing off the vehicle completely is important for your safety, as well as the safety of others. It is important to clean off your entire vehicle, including all windows and even the side mirrors. It can also help to decrease the chance of ice and snow falling off your vehicle and causing an accident for someone else. While cleaning off your vehicle, it is important to remember how to properly remove the snow and ice. Clearing off snow and ice the wrong way could damage part of the vehicle’s surface. When you remove snow from your vehicle, never use a shovel. It is easy to get the shovel too close to the surface of the vehicle, even while being careful. Shovels that are metal or plastic have hard edges that are designed to scrape along the ground to remove the bottom layers of ice and snow. These edges can leave scratches and gouges in the surface of the vehicle.     If there is ice on the vehicle, make sure to remove it correctly by lifting it off. The tendency is to push off any ice chunks that may be on the vehicle. This can cause an issue because when ice is pushed off the vehicle, the bottom of the ice can slide along the surface. This can result in fine scratches on the vehicle.   It is recommended to turn the vehicle on and let it warm up before you drive it. This can be an effective way to slowly melt the ice off the vehicle. It is important not to use the ice scraper on any part of the vehicle other than the windows. The hard plastic is designed to scrape ice off the windows, and may result in scratches if you use it on any part of the vehicle that is painted. Heating your vehicle up also helps to warm up the oil so the engine can perform better. Best of all, the interior of your vehicle will be warmed up too, so you will be more comfortable.
February 20, 2017

Why Driving at the Posted Speed is Important

    No matter if you travel long or short distances, driving at the posted speed limit can help to save you money. In addition, driving at the recommended speed is a safe choice and can also help save on the wear and tear of your vehicle. This can help to preserve the life and length of your vehicle’s parts. By doing this, along with going to your regularly scheduled maintenances, you can reduce the chance of having to prematurely replace your vehicle’s parts. Most importantly, driving at the posted speed can help in the safety of you, as well as those around you.     By driving the speed limit, you are helping your vehicle to be more fuel-efficient. As a rule, research indicates that your gas mileage will start to decrease once you exceed 60 miles per hour. In addition, keeping your vehicle in the best operating condition will help you to increase the fuel-efficiency as well. A well maintained vehicle could increase the fuel efficiency as much as 30 percent.     If you drive at the posted speed limit, you cannot only save on fuel-efficiency, but you can save on the wear and tear of your vehicle as well. If you drive at high speeds you will wear down and deteriorate your brakes faster than if you drive the recommended speed. Also, if you see a stoplight, stop sign, or traffic ahead, it is always best to slow down gradually so you can apply the brakes easier than if you are forced to slam on them at the last moment. Since the brakes are one of the most important parts of your vehicle, you want to do as much as you can to keep them lasting as long as possible, as well as in the best condition. Gradual starts and stops save money on fuel as well as reduce wear and tear on your vehicle.
February 9, 2017

Issues that Winter Weather can Cause for Your Vehicle

    When driving, it is always best to keep your vehicle in the best condition possible. This is important because you will be able to reduce the chance of an accident occurring. Without proper inspections, your vehicle will be more likely to have an issue occur when you are not prepared for it. If you notice anything out of the norm, make sure to bring the vehicle in as soon as possible. Poor Visibility Winter driving can be more difficult than driving during other times of the year. This is because snow and rain can stick to your window, and start to turn to ice. This will impair your visibility when you are driving. Make sure to remove all the snow, ice, and frost from your windows. The headlights should also be inspected. If they burn out, make sure to have them replaced over time to help improve the visibility when you drive. Dead Battery Another part to inspected for the vehicle is the battery. Cold weather can impair an aging battery’s ability to start your vehicle, especially when temperatures dip below freezing. If you are not buying a new battery, consider giving your current battery an inspection. Check the lead connections for corrosion and clean them as needed with a wire brush. You may consider investing in a portable power source, which can deliver the juice needed to jump-start your vehicle should you get stranded, and at the very least, never leave home without a set of jumper cables. Low Tire Pressure Tire pressure should be checked monthly, but this is doubly true in colder weather. Cool temperature changes air pressure, and tires with plenty of air in the summer will show less pressure in winter simply due to the change in atmospheric pressure. When inflating your tires, use the pressure indicated in your manual, or on the label inside the driver’s side door. Never use pressures indicated on the tire sidewall. Rust Forming due to Salt With winter comes road treatment, which usually means rock salt or salty brine sprayed on roads. While this is very effective at keeping the roads safe from ice, salt is also quite corrosive and can damage the finish of your vehicle if left for too long. Regular visits to the car wash are highly recommended to keep this stuff from doing too much damage. And do not neglect the undercarriage of the vehicle. A lot of road muck ends up on the undercarriage, which is easy to overlook, so do your best to clean under there, too. Remember, once rust takes hold, it is a problem eating at the body, frame and critical parts of the vehicle. Keep the corrosive beast at bay with diligent cleaning. Keeping the vehicle clean can help reduce rust occurring. It will also keep the vehicle lasting as long as possible.