Driving in Cold Temperature Climates
While it is important to drive safely no matter the season when temperatures begin to drop and ice or snow becomes more common, the rules for safe driving change a bit. As a result, it is important that you are ready for whatever driving situation may be encountered.
Wintertime Driving Tips
Know how your vehicle handles the weather.
Anti-lock brakes, all-weather tires, front and back windshield wipers, and other safety features are great. But if you don’t know what to expect from them then you still aren’t prepared to drive in winter weather. If at all possible, take some time to practice driving in moderately bad weather so you can get a feel for what to expect when driving in truly bad storms. Knowing how quickly your vehicle can stop, how much traction the tires have, and how long it will take to defrost windows will help you plan your trips and drive safer.
Keep your battery fully charged.
Cold weather will affect how well your battery works. You don’t want to get stranded because your battery isn’t engaging. If you aren’t sure how good your battery is, consider taking it to a shop to get it tested. Most batteries last between 3 and 5 years, so if you don’t recall when you last replaced your vehicle’s battery, now is a good time to get a check-up.
Don’t let the gas tank run low.
While important year-round, it is especially vital during the winter! You don’t want to be stuck on the side of the road without any fuel. Don’t let your gas tank get below a half-tank. Also, a fuller gas tank will prevent your vehicle’s gas line from freezing.
Check the oil and change the filter(s).
Conventional motor oil doesn’t withstand the cold as well as synthetic oil. Swapping to a better-performing synthetic from AMSOIL means the oil won’t thicken and perform sluggishly just because it’s cold outside. You can get premium oil from AMSOIL dealer, Cardey4EverOil.com. In addition to changing the oil, be sure all the filters- air, oil, etc. are in prime condition. If they are old or dirty, then have them replaced with quality ones from Buy Great Oil.
Allow for extra time.
Wintertime driving often means roads are in poor condition, or traffic is backed up. Plan for road congestion and damage and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination, so you are not trying to drive faster than recommended.
Take care of the tires.
Snow chains and all-weather tires are great. But more important is having your tires inflated to the correct amount. If the tire pressure is off, it will be harder for the tires to grip the road making it more difficult to drive safely. As part of checking the tire pressure, be sure to check the tires for any signs of damage to the treads, as a worn tread will also affect the drivability of the vehicle.
Maintain the wipers and windshield.
If the wipers are worn or loose now is the time to replace them. You may even want to invest in winter windshield wipers as they are specially designed for snow and ice. Of course, the wipers can’t do everything. Taking time to scrap the windshield properly with an ice scraper and snowbrush, adding anti-freeze to your windshield wiper fluid, and giving your car plenty of time to defrost will go a long way towards visibility on the road.
Driving in inclement and cold weather isn’t fun, and it can be dangerous, but by taking safety precautions and planning you can do your part in avoiding problems. Paying attention to the road conditions, being aware of your surroundings, maintaining your vehicle, and always being prepared will make a big difference for everyone.