Driving Tips for Cold Weather**
1. Check your radiator and washer fluids (Make a Service Appointment at Charles Boyd)
2. Check your tire pressure; it can change in cold weather
3. Keep at least 1/3 – 1/2 tank of gas to minimize condensation
4. Before starting the car turn OFF all accessories – it’s much better for the battery
5. Let the engine run for 30 seconds or more so the fluids circulate (newer models have the blue ‘cold engine’ reminder light)
6. Windshield wiper blades. If you have the All Weather Package (heated outside mirrors, front wiper de-icer and heated seats) turn on the front wiper deicers to free the blades if there’s any frost or ice. Do not use, warm water on the windshield, it can crack the glass. And of course use the heated seats and rear defroster
7. Tip Lift wiper blades and arms off the glass so they stick up and they won’t freeze to the windshield. Or place newspaper under the wiper blades and they won’t stick
8. Tip Clean wiper blades with windshield washer fluid
9. Tip Door lock frozen? Heat the key with a match. Lock deicer is available at most auto parts & hardware stores
10. Tip Door frozen closed? Help prevent this – lightly wipe silicone on the rubber seals. Use silicone spray on the rubber door seal. Be sure to wipe off excess and overspray
11. Tip Windshield fogging up quickly? Turn OFF the front defroster before turning off and exiting the car, i.e. set the heat control to the vent or floor setting before turning off the car. This will slow down the fogging up of the car because cold air entering the car won’t enter onto the warm windshield. Also turn off the fan.
Things to carry in the car cell phone, flashlight that works, ice scraper, emergency reflective triangle or flare, blanket, gloves, bag of sand, shovel, common sense.
Snow driving: (see Cold Weather tips above)
1. Tires – Are your tires ok, do they have lots of tread and are they properly inflated?
2. Windshield – Can you see out of the windshield? Gently scrape snow off,
3. Snow on the body- Don’t scrape down to the paint, it can scratch it. Maybe let the car warm up and melt it off.
4. Gas tank – Keep at least 1/3 – 1/2 tank of gas to minimize condensation and also to keep warm if you get stuck.
5. Accelerate slowly; avoid quick or jack-rabbit starts
6. Braking – gently tap the brakes to slow down. Anticipate stops, lift off the gas pedal. Downshift if you can with the automatic or manual transmission.
7. Avoid hard braking If you have to brake hard, don’t pump, just push down and hold so the anti-lock brakes kick in. Try to steer into the skid.
8. Avoid accelerating while turning.
9. Watch for snow build-up around the tires
10. Watch out for the ‘other guy’ esp. the one who thinks he’s invincible and laws of physics don’t count.