Maintaining your car in snowy conditions

Written by ryan. Posted in Uncategorized


Published on February 02, 2011 with No Comments

During the winter months, cold weather gives way to the warm, fuzzy feelings brought on by the presence of that certain special someone. But it is not just your significant other that deserves attention ñ your hard-working vehicle needs some extra TLC as well.
When the weather outside is frightful, the road is the last place you want to be, especially if your car has not been prepared to deal with snowy conditions. There is no time like the present to get yourself and your car ready for winter driving.
Tires Plus and Firestone Complete Auto Care offer a few tips to keep your vehicle running strong:
Listen to each other
ï Keep your engine properly tuned. A vehicle that has a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can decrease gas mileage by as much as 40 percent. A single misfiring spark plug can cut fuel economy by up to 4 percent.
Keep your vehicle refreshed
ï Change the engine oil. Use the recommended grade of motor oil for your vehicle, and change it according to your vehicle owner’s manual, which usually says every three months or 3,000 miles. Prolonged driving without an oil change may cause severe engine damage. Regularly check your vehicle’s fluid levels, including transmission, power steering, windshield washer and coolant.
ï Take a few moments to check your wipers — they do not last forever. If the rubber feels rough or seems cracked, replace the wiper blades. Older wiper blades can cause windows to become dangerously dirty, especially at night or in snowy conditions when there is likely to be salt on the road. Good visibility is a necessity.
Protect it from the elements
ï Keep the exterior washed and waxed to preserve the paint finish and protect your vehicle from the environment. Salt, water, sand and even de-icing chemicals on the road can cause rust or other damage to a vehicle.
Tires are the key
ï A tire’s PSI (pounds per square inch) can drop one pound for every 10-degree drop in temperature. Both under- and over-inflation lessens a tire’s gripping action. Once it gets cold, tire pressure should be checked weekly. Do not forget to check your spare tire, too.
ï Make sure your tires are properly balanced, rotate your tires according to the maintenance schedule and have the alignment checked at least once a year.
Use good driving habits
ï Accelerating quickly and stopping abruptly can prematurely wear your vehicle’s engine, transmission, tires and brakes. Aggressive driving also wastes gas.
ï Reduce your speed during adverse driving conditions, and be prepared for longer stopping distances on snowy or icy pavement. Try to avoid abrupt movements when braking, accelerating or turning.
ï Always use headlights at dawn and dusk, or while driving in fog, rain and snow, to warn other drivers you are there. If you cannot see them, they cannot see you. Do not forget to activate your flashers when appropriate.
No matter the time of year, it is important to take the appropriate measures to ensure that your vehicle is well maintained. However, during winter, when the roads and conditions are particularly unpredictable, proper maintenance is essential for keeping your car prepared for anything the season delivers.
Every relationship takes work, even the one you have with your car. Never underestimate how far a little tender loving care toward your vehicle can go.

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