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TIPS FOR WINTER DRIVING

Posted on Friday, January 5th, 2018 at 3:02 am    

NPR’s popular radio talk show Car Talk offers some tips for winter driving that I thought would be worth passing on to you. With the recent snow, it is a good time to take stock of the car talk tips. Here are some of the tips offered by Car Talk:

1. IF YOUR CAR NEEDS ROUTINE SERVICES, GET IT NOW

While a break down in the summer can be inconvenient, breaking down in the winter when it is freezing outside can be a terrible experience.

2. MAKE SURE YOUR BATTERY AND COOLING SYSTEM ARE IN GOOD ORDER

Have your mechanic check your battery, the belts, and related systems to make sure that everything is in good working order. Remember, you need more power to start your engine in the winter. Also, have the mechanic check that your cooling system and anti-freeze are up to snuff.

3. CHECK YOUR WINDSHIELD WIPERS AND WINDSHIELD WASHER RESERVE

It is important to have good windshield wipers and plenty of washer fluid to help keep your windshield clear in the snowy weather so that you can see where you are going.

4. KEEP YOUR GAS TANK CLOSE TO FULL

If you do get stuck in the winter, you want to make sure that you have enough extra fuel to be able to run the engine to keep warm. And, remember to be careful of carbon monoxide poisoning. So, if you are going to be idling the engine for a while, it is a good idea to crack your window open a little bit even though it is cold outside.

5. HOW ABOUT CARRYING EXTRA WEIGHT IN THE BACK OF THE CAR

Car Talk says that if you have a rear wheel drive vehicle, a bag or two of sand behind the rear axle can help increase traction. However, you need to be careful not to overload the car. It is probably best to start by adding a 20-pound bag and seeing how your car handles with the additional weight.

6. IF YOU MUST DRIVE IN THE SNOW

If you are living in an area where it snows a fair amount, Car Talk recommends that you get 4 good snow tires. Car Talk recommends this even if you have a front wheel drive or all-wheel drive car. According to Car Talk, 4 high quality snow tires are important if you really need to get around in snowy streets.

7. SOME IMPORTANT THINGS TO KEEP IN YOUR CAR FOR WINTER DRIVING
Be sure to keep a snow brush, ice scraper, shovel and bag of sand to help with traction in your car. It is also a good idea to keep a blanket and winter clothing in your car during the winter driving season. Another good idea is to carry your cellphone charger with you.

8. BEFORE YOU GO, MAKE SURE YOU DO THIS:
Make sure you clean off your entire car including your headlights, taillights, and your side view mirrors. It is important that you are able to see where you are going and that you are visible to other motorists.

9. WHEN DRIVING IN THE SNOW, DO EVERYTHING SLOWLY

Good snow tires, stability control, all-wheel drive, etc. traction is greatly reduced by snow and winter conditions. Therefore, you should slow down and leave plenty of distance between you and the other cars. Spending some time practicing in an empty parking lot in snowy conditions is a good idea if you have limited experience with winter weather conditions.

Source: An article appearing at Cartalk.com entitled “Winter Driving Tips”.