Here’s my best tip for foul weather driving – don’t if you don’t have to.  Leave the roads open for those that do have to be out, for snow plows, and for emergency vehicles.

But if you do have to drive in winter conditions, prepare your vehicle now.

1.  Tires –  Make sure that your tires have plenty of tread left – 3 mm or more is the goal.

Check tire pressure for optimal traction – use the normal recommended tire pressure

2.  Maintenance – make sure that regular maintenance is done:

Check the cooling system – this sounds counter-intuitive, but the antifreeze in the radiator needs to keep it from freezing.

Park your car with the gas tank full – this will keep water condensation in the tank at a minimum

3.  Visibility – Clean the car well of snow and ice.  You especially need to be able to see now when  conditions are hazardous.

Windshield – glare and ice cause visibility problems.  You can reduce glare by making sure that the windshield is clean inside and out

and also in  good condition i.e. free of scratches and dings.  Might be time to replace your windshield?

Windshield wipers should be good

Keep washer fluid reservoir full

4.  Gather and put in your car now for the winter months:

Ice scraper and snow brush

Extra washer fluid

Shovel

Tow strap

Tire chains

Bag of salt, sand, or kitty litter

5.  Keep in your car at all times, but especially now:

Spare tire (properly inflated and usable)

Jack and lug nut wrench

Jumper cables – cold temperatures are especially hard on batteries

Tool kit

 

Proactive tips for avoiding accidents during winter driving:

 

  1. When on snow and ice, do everything slower: driving speed, braking, turning
  2. Leave 3 times more space between yourself and the car ahead of you than you usually would
  3. Use a lower gear to increase traction if you’re on a hill, or stuck
  4. Be aware that the road may be icier on bridges, shady spots and less traveled roads

At Parker Automotive we wish you safe driving this winter, and always!

Gary