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How do I care for my car in winter?

Prepare your car for winter driving

Having moved from a single season state, to a full four-season state, keeping my vehicle in proper running condition in the winter months was a learning experience. Like many of today’s society I looked to the Internet for answers to my many questions about tire pressure, battery life, oil weight and so forth.

Here are some of the things I learned about keeping my vehicle in proper running condition in the colder months.

  1. Change the Oil. Your engine relies on oil to run smoothly. When the weather gets cold, oil can thicken and cause your vehicle to run rough or stop running all together.
  1. Check the Tire Pressure. When the weather gets cold, the pressure in your tires can drop, reducing your traction on slick roads. Keep your tires inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure to ensure safe driving and precise handling.
  1. Have the Battery Inspected. If your car battery is three years old or older, take your car in and have the mechanic or auto parts store test the battery strength. If your battery is weak, it could die when the cold weather strikes.
  1. Replace the Windshield Wiper Blades. Visibility is particularly essential during the winter. Most windshield wiper blades last about a year.
  1. Put Together a Winter Kit. In the winter, you should always have an emergency kit in your trunk. Include an ice scraper, snow brush, extra coat, and a few blankets. You may also want to carry extra coolant, antifreeze, and washer fluid.
  1. Check the Weather Before You Go. If the weather is frigid, you’re going to want to warm up the car before you drive it. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, never leave a vehicle running in an enclosed area, such as a garage.

Know What to Do to Avoid a Crash

You’ve done all you can to prepare your car, you’ve checked the weather, but suddenly you find yourself driving in a slippery mess. Would you know what to do if you ended up sliding toward another vehicle or fixed object?  Here are a few  tips to help you.

  • Avoid using your parking brake to slow or stop
  • Do not use cruise control in wintery conditions
  • Look and steer in the direction you want to go
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly
  • Know whether you have anti-lock brakes, which will “pump” the brakes for you in a skid
  • Keep your gas tank at least half-full
  • If you do get stranded, don’t try to push your vehicle out of snow
  • Signal distress with a brightly colored cloth tied to the antenna or in a rolled up window

Use these winter driving tips to get ready for the cold months ahead. May you all have a warm and happy winter.

We wish you and your families a wonderful, relaxing and safe winter season!

We look forward to serving you again in 2017

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