Jan 12

Winter driving tips from the experts at Infinite-Garage

It appears winter has finally come about a month late to the northern tier of the US. We had a good run of decent weather though, so it’s time to pay the piper. This seems like a pretty good time to give you all some winter driving tips that can help you avoid a accident, walking in the cold when your car breaks down, or being embarrassed on a date when your car won’t start.

First off, the tires. Check them. Do they have plenty of good tread and are they aired up correctly? Properly inflated tires can make all the difference when the weather gets iffy.

Check to make sure everything is working correctly. Your wipers, rear and front defrosters, and all lights are important in helping you see the road clearly in all directions. Keep in mind, in some states it’s the law that ALL windows of your vehicle be clear so take the extra time to clear them all off while you let your car warm up.

Make sure your battery is good. If your cars battery is several years old, you may want to look at replacing it. Cold weather kills batteries and your battery is what makes your car start and continue to run. So if your car is hard to crank over or you’ve had to charge it recently because it died, you may want a new one.

If you have a RWD car you may want to add weight to the back. You can add some sandbags, or other heavy objects to weigh down the rear. This should help you take off from a stop.

When driving:

slow down. There is no need to be a hero when the road conditions suck. So turn off your “drive like a douche” switch and slow it down.

Just because your car has AWD or 4wd doesn’t mean it’s a magic snow traveling machine. You too need to drive sensibly. I’ve seen more AWD vehicles in the ditch in recent years then FWD or RWD and I suppose that has to do with overconfidence. You need to slow down too.

Don’t tailgate. Seriously, leave extra room between you and the car in front of you. I’m looking at you Mr. Audi driver.

If you are stuck, or are having problems taking off from a stop turn your traction control OFF. Not all cars have traction control, but if yours does, it can actually hinder you from getting moving from a start, because it cuts the power from the wheels or uses the brakes to cycle it between wheels. Sometimes you do just need raw power to get out of a bit of snow. I suggest turning it back on though once you get going.

If you start to slide under braking simply put your car in neutral. This will probably stop the slide.

Use gradual inputs with gas, brake, and steering. Sudden movements are what will cause you to lose traction. So take it easy.

Safe driving everyone!

1 comment

  1. Chris B.

    Thanks for the tips. I should check to see I can turn traction control off in my parent’s Sentra. Seems unlikely though. I never got stuck last year in it, here’s to hoping it doesn’t happen.

Comments have been disabled.