To help drivers cope with tough road conditions connected with winter, we offer information on vehicle preparation to ensure that motorists and their vehicles are properly equipped. Using the following tips will help the drivers avoid potential road accidents, unnecessary stress and expenses while traveling in winter.
1. Have a basic tuning-up. Check your hoses, belts, spark plugs and wires and change if necessary.
2. Protect against freeze ups. Don’t forget about antifreeze/coolant as it is very important in cold temperatures. If there is too much water and not enough antifreeze/coolant in the system, it can freeze up, expand and crack key engine components. Check fluid levels and top them off with a ready-to-use formula before temperatures falls.
3. Check the tire tread. If your vehicle has bold tires, it is not only unsafe but can cause a serious disaster on slick, wet road. As tires connect the car with the road, the traction is utterly imperative during winter. If you live in areas with frequent heavy snowfalls, four winter tires will be a solid investment for you. Offering more traction, the make accelerating, braking and turning easier and safer.
4. Replace worn brake pads and shoes. It is essential to have maximum stopping power.
5. Use a special washing fluid. Your usual blue washing fluid can freeze in the washer reservoir or on the windshield while driving. For winter driving you should buy liquids with special de-icer formulas. They don’t freeze in the washer reservoir at temperatures as low as -34�F.
6. Check wipers for windshields. If they streak or cause problems, you should buy blades especially made for winter conditions. Visibility is crucial this time of year.
7. Prevent gas line freeze. In winter you should use a special fuel system cleaner designed for winters to prevent gas line freeze in extremely cold weather conditions. We recommend to add a bottle of fuel de-icer at every fill up to prevent moisture from freezing in the fuel line.
8. Be ready for an emergency. The routine maintenance mentioned above can provide you with a certain level of comfort but having a well-stocked kit provides peace of mind. Make sure that you vehicle is “equipped” with a cellular phone, extra de-icer washer fluid, a good ice scraper and snowbrush, spray de-icer, blankets, snacks, bottled water and warm clothing.
9. Remove snow and ice off your car. Before hitting a winter road make sure that all surfaces of your vehicle are free from ice and snow otherwise it can create dangerous situations for drivers. Blowing snow and ice causes reduced visibility and treacherous obstructions.
10. Be very attentive. Every day take a moment to listen to weather and traffic reports. Stay off the road when the conditions are too hazardous. If you must travel when roads are bad, it is important to know your vehicle and use extreme caution. Keeping an 8-10 second distance between cars, reducing speeds on hills, storing sandbags in the trunk of rear-wheel drive cars and wearing seat belts will prevent you from road accidents. It is also a sound idea to always keep at least a half tank of gas in vehicles during winter months – it will be your only source of heat if stranded.