Winter Car Care: The Morning Show Interview
January 19, 2011 8:39 AM
WINTER CAR CARE – THE DO’S & DON’Ts
· DON’T put hot water on your windshield in an attempt to melt the ice. The resulting temperature difference can crack your windshield.
· DON’T turn your car's heated defroster on high, this can also crack your windshield for the same reason (defrost at medium).
· DON’T drive until your front and rear windshield and side windows are clear of ice (most aren’t aware that in many states it is illegal to drive with poor visibility)
· DON’T force the key to turn when dealing with a frozen lock. Metal fractures with surprisingly little force when it's cold out. Your car key could break off in the car door lock, or you could damage the lock.
· DON’T drive without removing snow from the entire vehicle.
o If snow is left on the hood, it can fly up onto the windshield, obstructing your view. If snow is left on the roof, it can slide onto the rear window, obstructing your view. Snow on the roof and tailgate can also fly off the car, especially at high speeds, hitting other cars and causing accidents and swerving.
· DON’T continue to attempt to start your engine if it does not start up with ten to twenty seconds of cranking (stop for a minute or two and let the battery recover).
· DON’T use an ice scraper to remove ice from anything other than the windows. Using an ice scraper on your car paint will scratch and chip the car paint resulting is costly repairs.
. DO check your tire pressure and tread – your tires need extra traction to keep your car on the road. It’s important to have adequate tire tread – and in particularly cold climates drivers should consider investing in specially designed winter tires. Also, as the temperature decreases so does the air in your tires, it is important to keep your tires fully inflated to prevent skidding on icy roads. (our expert can demonstrate how to test both)
· DO check your wiper blades – worn blades freeze during snow storms making your windshield wipers ineffective
DO keep your gas tank at least half full during the winter. Doing so will decrease the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing, which could hurt performance or cause your car to stall.
· DO change your oil and oil filter - clean, high quality engine oil goes a long way in protecting the motor in cold start situations. Use the oil recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
· DO check your antifreeze before the temperature falls, and flush the entire system if necessary.
. DO check your battery’s charge level - Winter’s extreme cold can result in weakened car batteries.
. DO keep a survival kit. Including a flashlight with fresh batteries, a blanket, food bars, water bottles, cell phone charger, jumper cables, flares, a HELP sign, and a first aid kit in a survival kit may seem unnecessary but could save your life if you get caught in extreme conditions.