With chilly temperatures of winter set in, are you and your vehicle ready for the cold? Here are some tips to keep you and your loved ones safe on the road this winter.
Know Your Car
Every vehicle handles differently, and this is particularly true when driving on wet, icy, or snowy roads. Take time now to learn how your vehicle handles under winter weather driving conditions.
- Before driving your vehicle, clean snow, ice or dirt from the windows, the forward sensors, headlights, tail lights, backup camera and other sensors around the vehicle
- For electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, minimize the drain on the battery. If the vehicle has a thermal heating pack for the battery, plug your vehicle in whenever it’s not in use. Pre-heat the passenger compartment before you unplug your vehicle in the morning.
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Mind Your Battery
When the temperature drops, so does battery power. For gasoline and diesel engines, it takes more battery power to start your vehicle in cold weather. For electric and hybridelectric vehicles, the driving range is reduced when the battery is cold, and battery systems work better after they warm up. Make sure your battery is up to the challenges of winter.
- Have your mechanic check your battery for sufficient voltage, amperage and reserve capacity.
- Always keep jumper cables hand
- Have the charging system and belts inspected.
You can go through a lot of windshield wiper fluid fairly quickly in a single snowstorm, so be prepared for whatever might come your way.
- Completely fill your vehicle’s reservoir before the first snow hits.
- Use high-quality “winter” fluid with de-icer and keep extra in your vehicle.
Drive For the Conditions
Among the top causes of winter car accidents is that people underestimate the conditions when on the road – and travel too fast for the road conditions. Always remember these tips when traveling in the snow or ice.
- Drive slowly. It’s harder to control or stop your vehicle on a slick or snow-covered surface. On the road, increase your following distance
enough so that you’ll have plenty of time to stop for vehicles ahead of you
- Know whether your vehicle has an antilock brake system
and learn how to use it properly. Antilock brake systems prevent your wheels from locking up during braking. If you have antilock brakes, apply firm, continuous pressure to the brake pedal. If you don’t have antilock brakes, you
may need to pump your brakes if you feel your wheels starting to lock up.
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