Helpful Car Repair Tips

Winter Driving Tips From Bob's Garage

Posted by Brian Brown on October 7, 2011 at 12:50 AM

1. If your car needs service now, call Bob's Garage in Sugar Grove, Virginia

Nothing is a big deal in the summer. But when freezing cold outside that's another story. As bad hoses, belts, water pumps can go bad in the winter, it is better to bite the bullet and fix them now. It's better than spending the same amount of money after having been sitting in his car for three hours waiting for AAA. Here's a service element that is often overlooked: the pressure of the tires. Ask Bob to check, or do so as soon as winter comes. Why? Because the tire pressure is reduced by about one pound per ten degrees of temperature. So if it's -10 now, and the last time I checked the tire pressure was in the sweltering heat wave in July, the tires are dangerously low and threat the handling of your car. Many new cars have tire pressure monitor, which alerts you to the dangers of low tire pressure. In fact, since 2008, monitors the tire pressure is required in all new vehicles.

2. Make sure the battery and charging system are in good working order.

Bob Garage should check the system battery and belts. The battery can go simply because it is old. Or you could break down because your charging system is not working properly and the battery will not be charged properly. So have Bob check your battery and charging system. If you find that you need a new battery, get the best battery that will serve your car. Two things to remember about batteries: First, the battery that started your car easily in the summer may not have enough strength to do it in winter. In winter, the engine is harder to start because the oil is not as "fluid" as it was in July. And secondly, batteries lose power due to low temperature. So not only do you need more power to start the engine in winter, you have less battery to start it.

3. have Bob's Garage check the cooling system.

Be sure to check the anti-freeze that protects your car in the winter. For most areas, you should use a 50-50 mixture of coolant to water. You might think: "I want to be very good for my car and give it 100% coolant." Guess what? You are wrong. The 50-50 mixture does freeze faster 100% coolant is less able to transfer heat away from your engine, and has been known to cause nasty things like melted spark plugs and engine failure. So Mix It Up! You can check the freezing rating of the coolant in your car yourself with a small device you can buy at an auto parts store for a few dollars. With it, you suck a little bit of antifreeze from the radiator and see how many balls float. If this exceeds the level then get the antifreeze to the 50-50 recommended mixture.

4. Check your windshield wipers.

Make sure your windshield wipers running clean well, and you can clearly see. Even when there is no active precipitation...water, melting snow and mud can often be thrown up on the windshield. And if you do not see, you can not perform well. Winter wipers - such as ice blades have become very popular. They are excellent in winter, but be sure to remove them in spring. Winter wipers are heavy, and if you use them all summer, you wear the wiper motor prematurely. And when using the wipers in the winter, remember to turn them off before the engine stops. Why? Water freezes at night quite often during the winter. And if the blades freeze to the windshield, when you go to start the car, the wiper motor may burn out trying to get them back in a reclining position.


5. In winter, you want to keep the tank nearly full.

If you are trapped in the winter, the engine will be your only source of heat. And you do not want to worry about conserving fuel and saving the planet at the moment want to keep warm. You can run the engine a long time at idle to keep warm and it will not hurt the engine. Also, if you have an old car, we suggest that you crack open the window a bit, if you will be idling. Vintage cars are more prone to exhaust leaks and corrosion holes. This is not be a problem when driving, because the wind removes the exhaust gases on the fly. Finally, if you are stopped or stranded in the middle of a snowstorm humungous, be sure to go out regularly and remove the snow after the exhaust pipe to keep it clear.

6. Make sure the windshield washer reservoir is full.

On a snowy day it's easy to use a half a gallon or more of washer fluid trying to keep your windshield clean. For this reason it is also a good idea to keep some extra fluid in the trunk in case you run out. And make sure you get the good stuff - stay away from the cheap stuff that is half frozen outside a service station! somne of these liquids freeze well around zero degrees! Even if you buy the right things you may also need to complete your windshield washer fluid with some concentrate. The concentrate is available in pint bottles and works very well at extremely low temperatures.

7. Carrying some sand in the back.

If you have a rear-wheel driving car you can put a sand bag or two in the trunk above the rear axle. This extra weight increases the traction of the rear wheels. What exactly is the rear axle? Draw an imaginary line between the rear wheels. However, you can make things worse by putting too much weight too far back. In essence, by adding too much to the back it can "lift" the front and lose some steering and braking capabilities. We suggest you start with a bag of 20 pounds then drive and see how your car handles and steers. Whatever you do, do not put the sand into the cabin. In an accident, the bags can become projectiles. For front-wheel drive cars do not bother with sandbags. A the engine is already a huge weight over the wheels.

8. Make sure the rear window defroster works.

In many countries, the law requires that all windows are clear before hitting the road.

9. Know the driving performance of your car.

Each car has different driving characteristics. You should know what your car can and can not do in the snow. You should know if your car has part or full-time four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and stability control. You should know what kind of tires on the car, and how these things work and how they can help or not help. In fact, not a bad idea to do some riding in an empty parking lot in a snow day so you know what to expect from your car when driving on snowy roads.

10. Carry some items in your trunk in case you get stuck.

Invest in a decent snow brush and scraper. It's good to have a shovel and a bag of sand to aid traction, and extra washer fluid. If you have any winter clothes you no longer use, especially an old pair of boots, throw them in the trunk too.

11. Winter Driving Emergencies are among the few legitimate uses for a mobile phone.

A cell phone is definitely a plus if you get stuck.

12. If you are in an area that allows or requires chains.

And be sure you've practiced putting them on before you need it. Trust us - to use snow chains is much harder when you're knee-deep in slush in the dark and other cars whistling by you.

13. Clean your car, completely!

When snow or ice is out, take the extra time to ensure that your car is clean and your visibility is good. Clean the entire car, not just a little peephole in the windshield. You need just as much if not more visibility in poor conditions because you must keep your eyes open for pedestrians, and every other people on the road. Make sure every glass surface is clear and transparent using a snow brush and / or a scraper. Your side mirrors and all lights to be brushed and cleared as well.


Even with good coolant, snow tires, stability control, four-wheel drive and the other items we discussed....When driving in the snow, please do everything slowly and carefully.

Categories: Car Repair, Automotive Repair

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