Top 5 Winter Weather Driving Tips

It seems like just yesterday Portlanders were complaining about the heat, seeking any indoor, air-conditioned activities we could find to keep the family happy and cool. Now that we’ve adjusted to the crisp air and oohed and aahed at the beautiful fall foliage, it’s time to clean out the fireplace, check the heater, winterize our vehicles, and prepare for another Pacific Northwest winter.

Keep Your Cool

Whether you’re planning a road trip over the holidays or simply driving friends and family around town, remember that winter weather impacts automobile performance differently than the heat. It also impacts how we drive, which is why we’re sharing our Top 5 Winter Weather Driving Tips:

Tip #1: See Your Tank As Half-Full

There are lots of things you’d rather be doing than waiting in a freezing car for help. In the winter, it’s a good idea to always keep your tank at least half full.

Tip #2: Slow and Steady

Every green light is not the starting line for a race, especially in the winter. Do yourself and everyone around you a favor and keep the pace slower when road conditions are cold or wet. Ease out nice and slow to be sure you gain traction and avoid stopping abruptly so you don’t skid.

Tip #3: Cruisin’

Cruise control is a great feature, but it’s safer to do without when encountering snowy, icy, or slippery conditions.

Tip #4: Tune-In

Keep an eye on weather news and make adjustments to your plan as necessary. If you do have to drive in less-than-ideal conditions, be sure you have a car emergency kit and a fully charged cell phone. It’s also a good idea to let people at your destination know when you leave, what route you’ll be taking, and your estimated arrival time should any problem arise.

Tip #5: Stay Alert

The fall season is full of festivities, many of which include the opportunity to eat and drink. Being Alert means:

  • All that celebrating can zap your energy. If you’re tired, don’t drive. Take a power nap and get there 20 minutes later.
  • If you drink alcohol, you have 3 choices:
  • BE the designated driver
  • HAVE a designated driver
  • GET a ride. Public transportation or a ride service can be safer, more convenient, and you don’t have to worry about finding a parking spot!

Prepping Your Car For Winter

Winterizing your vehicle before the coldest months set in is an important way to keep you and your family safe this winter. Here’s a summary taken from our previous post: 6 Things Your Car Needs This Winter:

  1. Belts & Hoses - Did you know belt or hose failure is the #1 cause of breakdowns? Belts and hoses have a finite life and changes in temperature cause rubber parts to expand and contract.
  2. Windshield Wiper Solvent - If your fluid doesn’t have the proper ratio of ingredients, it can freeze. And don’t forget to take advantage of our Fall Windshield Special (good through November 30, 2018):
    Fall Windshield Special: $35
    Preserve glass and extend the life of wiper blades. We’ll clean and apply Aquapel to the exterior of your windshield and install two new standard wiper blades*
    *Additional charge for rear and specialized wiper blades.
    Special offer available through November 30, 2018
  3. Cooling Systems - If your system becomes too acidic it will create corrosion, causing parts to wear out more quickly, and leaks that could otherwise have been prevented.
  4. Batteries - Technology allows us to perform a battery test that can predict the life expectancy of the battery. No need to wait until you’re out of juice!
  5. Tires - Tires may need pressure adjustments or rotation to be sure they’re winter-weather-ready.
  6. Oil Change / Regular Maintenance - Call and schedule service so it’s on your calendar before you get busy with holiday-related errands and activities.

Call us today and schedule your regular and seasonal service.

Take care of your car so it can take care of you!