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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Winter Driving

Driving in the snow is an art and mastery comes only after practice. Hitting the roads in a blizzard are sometimes unavoidable, but here are some tips for your car to help you fight the white fluffy stuff! 

  • New/lightly used winter tires are most important when driving in the snow and will not only help you to accelerate, but also stop and prevent swerving. 
  • Make sure that your ABS (Auto Braking System) is working correctly. This system pulses your brakes and prevents snow and ice buildup on the stopping part of the rubber of your tires. This system helps to stop your car much faster and also helps stop sliding during hard braking. Your ABS will only kick on when your tires start skidding and you will hear a groaning or vibrating while it is doing its job. 
  • Studs are great to have on your tires and consist of special tires that have small holes in them deep enough to screw a metal stud into. Sometimes states and cities will ban studs because they wear the roads much faster than regular tires, check your local laws to make sure!
  • Drivetrain is a huge factor in determining how well your car will preform and also how to drive and compensate for slippery conditions. The best drivetrain to have is a 4wd system operating all four tires and turning them at the same time (lockers), second is an AWD system that will drive the easiest tires to spin on both the back and front (some AWD cars have systems to lock the front and back tires together when slippage occurs). Front wheel drive is the third and most common form of power to the ground, this system only drives the front tires and will spin the easiest tire (meaning when your stuck the tire with less traction will be the only one spinning). Last is RWD or rear wheel drive and is the least effective in driving in the winter time for most people, this system only drives the rear tires of the car and is prone to fish tailing (when the back of your car slides left and right under acceleration). 
  • Washer fluid is something you don't really think about in the summer, but when winter rolls around it could mean the difference between seeing and not seeing at all. A common mistake made is buying the wrong washer fluid. Many times summertime washer fluid will be left a car from summer time, when it starts to get cold the summer washer fluid will freeze and almost always crack the plastic container it is stored in. If this happens your reservoir will leak and have to be replaced. Make sure you get washer fluid rated at -20 or below (depending on what area you are in). 

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