Winter Driving Safety Tips

Written by Welcome on January 8, 2015

In Minnesota, we could be considered for living in the Ice Box Capitol of the World.  Even though we are a hearty bunch we still need to be smart and take precautions when driving in these sub zero temperatures.  Here are some things we can do to be sure we are traveling as safely as possible.  Especially because a breakdown could be a very serious situation.
1.  Check your coolant for strength and acidity. Too much acidity results in rust and can lead to rust and leaks in the cooling system.
2.  Check your hoses because cold weather causes them to shrink and lead to leaks.
3.  Have thermostat checked. An improperly working thermostat results in slow engine warm up.
4.  Inspect belts. Cold weather puts additional load on belts. Power steering is a good example. The oil gets thick and requires more power for operation. If that belt is old and worn, the cold temperatures will lead to a slipping belt.
5.  Test your battery.  Cold temperature thickens engine oil requiring more cranking power. Make sure your battery connections are clean and making a good connection.  Battery’s are typically good for 3-4 years before they need replacing.
6.  Check your windshield wipers. You have to see to drive carefully!   Don’t take risks with an old hard wiper blade, and make sure to be using washer fluid that can withstand sub zero temperatures.
7.  Inspect your tires. Make sure they are properly inflated and have good tread. Consider snow tires, especially on rear wheel drive cars.  Many of the cars that end up in the body shop are the result of bald tires.
8.  Be sure to have a safety kit in the trunk: Reflectors, jumper cables, shovel, and a blanket are good to have in an emergency.

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