Tag Archives: auto care

Winter Ready

December 1, 2013 by

It would be nice to be able to call in to work every time we had a little bit of snow, but that just isn’t realistic. We have to get out there and brave the snow and ice in the winter months. Still, there are a few things you can check to make your winter driving safer:

Wiper blades – Your wipers should clear the dirty slush that continually flies onto your windshield without leaving a smeary mess. If not, they need to be replaced. Keep in mind that it’s recommended to replace wiper blades annually. Always having enough windshield wiper fluid is important, too, particularly fluid that withstands freezing temperatures.

Battery – If your battery is more than three years old, it’s a good idea to have a certified battery shop or mechanic test the battery. You don’t want to be stranded due to battery issues that could have been avoided.

Tires – Monitor your tire pressure and tread frequently throughout the winter. Your tire pressure may have dropped along with the temperatures. For every ten degrees the temperature drops, tires average a loss of one pound per square inch. Your tires should also have adequate tread on them. Having them checked out by a professional before a big snow is a good idea. Always have a spare tire and jack with you as well.

Belts and Hoses – Have a professional check them to make sure there are no leaks, bulges, or fraying. The cold weather will only exacerbate these issues, making the hoses and belts more brittle.

Radiator – Make sure that your radiator is filled with the proper water/anti-freeze mixture that is recommended by your vehicle manufacturer.

Gas tank – Always keep a quarter to a half-gallon of gas in the tank at all times to prevent moisture buildup in the tank.

It’s also a good idea to have a winter weather kit in your vehicle. To make an emergency kit, include a blanket, boots and gloves, an extra set of warm clothes, food and water, an ice scraper, a small shovel, a flashlight, windshield washer fluid, flares, jumper cables, a first aid kit, and an abrasive material to help if you get stuck (such as sand or kitty litter).

Fighting Sun Glare

November 25, 2012 by

It’s that time of year when everyone gets geared up and prepared for the hazards of winter driving, but there’s a forgotten and often dangerous hazard here right now that many are ill prepared for. With the days getting shorter, we face an additional hazard of sun glare to our already not so pleasant commute. Sun glare can cause us to have trouble seeing other vehicles, and even more dangerous, cause us to be unable to see traffic signals.

There are a few things we can do to be better prepared against sun glare:

  • Have a pair of sunglasses specifically dedicated for driving. Keep this pair in the car at all times. This way you won’t have to worry about not having them because you left them at home or work. Polarized sunglasses work best.
  • Having papers on your dash can create a reflection on your windshield, obstructing your view. Keep your dash free and clear.
  • Keep your windshield clean. Dust and any debris on the windshield have the effect of making sun glare more pronounced. Clean your windshield periodically to keep a dangerous hazard from getting worst.
  • If possible, avoid driving during the times when the sun is rising or setting.
  • Finally, like all hazardous conditions, you should slow down and avoid distracted driving.

By doing these simple steps to be more prepared, we can have a safer driving season.