Tips for Safe Driving This Winter
Winter weather can wreak havoc on your car as colder temperatures put your engine under strain. Driving can be more dangerous with roads covered in ice or snow, so it's important to know how you can best prep your car for this time of year.
Get a Check-Up
Before and during the winter season, one of the best things you can do to ensure your car stays healthy and winter-road ready is to perform a thorough check-up.
Tires lose one psi for every 10-degree drop in temperature. As the air gets colder, your tire pressure gets lower, and your tires won't perform as well or could easily become damaged. Keep any eye on your tires and have them filled up with air as soon as the temperature drops to keep them in good condition throughout the winter. You might also consider snow tires for better traction during winter conditions.
Oil, antifreeze, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and transmission fluids are all essential to keeping your car running. In cold weather, these fluids thicken and it becomes harder for your car to run. Have your car’s fluids checked or swapped out for winter-grade versions before a problem arises.
Extremely low temperatures pull voltage from the battery, which makes it harder for your car to start. Checking your battery's health before the cold arrives will tell you if you've got a battery that's ready to handle the colder temps.
Practice Good Habits
During the winter months, there are some habits that will increase the likelihood you'll get from point A to Point B safely.
Keep an Emergency Kit in Your Car
It's good to have supplies in your car for any emergency, but winter prep is especially important. Check out our recent blog post to find a list of recommended items to keep in your car this winter.
Drive Cautiously in Snow/Ice
It's best to stay home if there's a lot of snow on the roads, but if you must drive, there are some things you can do to make your trip safer.
- Use your headlights to improve your visibility and help other drivers see you.
- Increase your following distance. The norm is 3 to 4 seconds, but in winter weather, this should increase to 8 to 10 seconds.
- Avoid slamming on your brakes, which makes it harder to control your car. The instances of skidding and slipping increase during times of snow and ice.
Keep Your Gas Tank Full
Fuel can freeze in the colder temperatures and as such, it's ideal to keep your gas tank filled. This will also prevent you from running out of gas and ending up stranded in the snow. At Custom Complete Automotive, we strive to keep your car in tip top shape throughout every season. To learn more about our services, or for any of your automotive needs, contact us today!
Find an Auto Repair Shop Near You
We have multiple auto repair shops throughout Missouri located in Columbia, Jefferson City, and St. Louis.
Eric Riddles is an ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician who has been working as an auto mechanic since 1998 and originally joined the team at Custom Complete Automotive in 2005. Eric has numerous certifications in various aspects of car repair and spent 10 years training the next generation of auto technicians at a local high school Auto Shop classroom.