Driving in the winter can be a challenge. The road conditions can change in a matter of minutes. It is always a good idea to check the weather and road conditions before you leave. This can help you prepare for what type of weather you will be driving in. Also remember to have your vehicle properly maintained. Doing so will help ensure that all the parts and components are working correctly. If there is an issue, we will be able to locate it and recommend what should be done to have it repaired. Doing so will help you save time, money, and stress in the long run this winter.
You will want to schedule an appointment if you start to notice the vehicle showing signs that are out of the norm. When the vehicle pulls in one direction or the other, there may be an issue with the steering of the vehicle. The tires may also be over or under inflated. If the roads are slick it will become difficult to drive, especially if your vehicle pulls randomly. By having us check the issue, you can determine the specific cause of it. If the vehicle pulls when you apply the brakes, there could be an issue with them as well.
If you start to slide when driving, slow down but do not slam on the brakes. Sometimes slamming the brakes will make it worse. You will not want to over correct your steering, so try to stay calm and get the vehicle back under control. This should be done with the least amount of motion to the steering wheel as you can. You will want to be aware of what the weather is. If it is raining or sleeting and the temperature is right around freezing, chances are good you may have ice to deal with. By slowing down and remaining calm, you can decrease the chance of having an accident.
In the winter you will want your vehicle to run as efficiently as possible. You will not want to run the risk of it having a breakdown in cold winter weather. By keeping the vehicle properly maintained, you can help ensure all the parts are working correctly. You will want to make sure that the oil and other fluid levels are topped off for the vehicle. With cold temperatures, the risk for a hose to crack can increase. So make sure that you check all parts under the hood. You can bring the vehicle in and we can check the vehicle for you.
One important part to check are the tires. You will notice at some point in the winter that they have less air than they otherwise should. As the temps drop, it causes the air to become dense, and it results in the tire pressure becoming lower. Also, over time, tires will naturally lose air pressure. In the winter, it becomes more frequent. The tires can lose about one pound per square inch of air for every ten degree drop in the air temperature. Some cars are equipped with a low tire pressure light. This alerts you for when the tires should be inspected for how much air pressure each one has. If there is any damage to the tires, like a nail or puncture, the air will leak slowly.
Also remember to drive cautiously when driving through deep snow. There might be sharp objects or things that can puncture the tires. Also remember to not spin your tires. Spinning fast in one spot can increase the chance of them to pick up sharp rocks, nails, or anything else that can damage the tires. If you notice an issue, make sure that they are properly inspected as soon as possible.
When you drive in winter, it is important to warm up your vehicle for a variety of reasons. Warming up your vehicle provides several benefits. When you take proper care of your vehicle, you can help it last as long as possible. Also remember to bring it in for regular maintenance inspections. Doing so will help prevent an issue that could have been resolved earlier.
The best reason for warming up your vehicle is that it will help the parts to move properly against one another. Cold vehicles will be slow to start and increase the chance of parts being slow to operate as well. If you start a vehicle and immediately drive it, you have the increased chance that you can do significant damage to those parts or vehicle. Warming the vehicle up also allows it the chance to have the oil to warm up. This lubricates the engine so then the engine will run and operate smoother.
Warming up the vehicle also helps get the windows clear. Before driving in the winter, you will want to make sure all the snow, ice, and frost is removed from the windshield and all the other windows as well. This will allow you to have the best visibility when you drive. As you start the vehicle, the warm air goes through the defrost to warm up the inside of the vehicle and windows. This will help make it easier to scrape the windows on your vehicle.
Another benefit is that it will heat up the interior of your vehicle. This will provide you a nice warm area when you get into the vehicle. Having the vehicle warmed up will increase the comfort for you and your passengers. It will also keep the vehicle warm and more reliable as well.
The vehicle will need to have a reliable battery in order for it to start. You will also need to make sure that the alternator and starter are also in the best condition possible for your vehicle. If you are not sure if they at the top performance level, bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it. Doing so will help to keep it efficient and at top performance levels. When the battery is not working, you will also want to have the alternator and starter properly inspected as well. Sometimes a faulty alternator or starter will also result in the vehicle not starting. Since all three will have to work in coordination with one another, they will all need to be working.
You will want to notice any signs or issues that the vehicle is showing signs of starter issues. The first thing to be aware of is if the vehicle is slow to start. Usually there will be an indication when you notice the vehicle starting to turn over slowly. Slow starts are the first sign that the vehicle will need to have an inspection done. The more often this occurs, the quicker that the vehicle will fail completely. When this becomes more common, you will notice that the vehicle may start to just click when you start it.
If you decide to not drive your vehicle for a few weeks or months, make sure to disconnect the battery and remove the battery. Doing so can help prevent the battery from draining and having a dead car when you go to start it. You will want to have a reliable vehicle when you need to get to and from your destination. If you notice that your vehicle needs to be jump-started, schedule an appointment with us. We can inspect the starter, alternator, and battery.
Keeping your vehicle working in the best condition should always be a priority. If you are not sure what tasks should be done, contact us. We can also recommend a maintenance schedule for the various tasks of your vehicle. When the vehicle is brought in, we can give it a bumper-to-bumper inspection. Doing so will help to be aware of any issues that your vehicle might have. When there is a problem with the vehicle, it is always best to have it taken care of as soon as possible. This will help to prevent further damage or issues with other parts or the car. Ignoring an issue and choosing not to have it fixed right away can also lead to an increased repair bill.
Besides maintenance, make sure that you drive carefully as well. Slamming on the brakes or having jackrabbit starts can do damage to parts and components of the vehicle. This will cause the brakes to wear out sooner than they otherwise should. Instead of slamming the brakes, try to anticipate any upcoming stop lights or stop signs on the road. If traffic is heavy, leave enough room where you will not have to slam on the brakes. Following too close can increase the chance of rear ending the vehicle in front of you. It also increases the chance that the car behind you might hit you as well.
Drive at the Posted Speed
Also make sure that you drive at what the posted speed is, or lower. Going too fast can result in a ticket by the cops. It also increases the chance if you loose control, of going in the ditch or rolling your vehicle. When the weather is less than ideal, you will want to slow down on the road. Only drive at a speed that you are comfortable at. If the roads are slick, slow down and drive with caution.