Driving in the winter is no simple task when the roads ice over, particularly for drivers who are not used to such conditions. The following is a list of tips and tricks to keep your car drivable throughout the cold winter months:
· Warm your car: Installing a remote car starter helps your morning go a bit faster. Pre-warming your car makes it easier to scrape off ice and makes the interior more comfortable for your commute. Some of these devices can even be controlled using your smartphone. Avoid starting your car in an enclosed area such as a garage.
· Improve visibility: The good ‘ole ice scraper is a driver’s most handy tool during winter. Using this, in combination with brushes if needed, make sure all windows and lights are clear of snow and ice. Using car wax on lights can help keep them clearer. These tactics will not only increase your visibility, but will also make you more visible to other drivers on the road. You can purchase wiper fluids that help melt ice to reduce your amount of scraping.
· Check your tires: Worn tires increase your risk of losing traction, which can cause skidding. To check your tire tread, insert an upside-down penny into several treads across the surface of your tires. The rubber should cover Lincoln’s hairline. If the tread doesn’t reach that far, consider replacing them. Winter tires are the best option for snowy conditions.
· Use antifreeze: It sounds silly, but your engine must be cooled even in the wintertime. Ensure that your car contains the right amount of coolant. When filling your coolant, use a 50/50 combination of antifreeze and water. Premixed formulas are also available.
· De-ice door locks: There are several commercial products you can buy to melt ice out of your door lock. However, many of them contain alcohol as the main ingredient. If you’re caught in a jam, try dipping your key in hand sanitizer and squirting some on the lock. The alcohol content can help melt ice away.
· Don’t forget your driveway: Pulling your car in or out of your driveway can be a treacherous journey in itself. Shovel snow away and sprinkle salt or kitty litter to improve traction. You can also salt any walkways or stairs that may be hazardous.
· Prepare for emergencies: Keep an emergency kit in your car for unexpected events. Good items to pack include, but are not limited to, a flashlight, blanket, shovel, jumper cables and salt or kitty litter. In the event that salt doesn’t give you the traction you need, try putting the rubber side of your car’s floor mat under the spinning tire.
Drive with extra caution when winter weather diminishes road conditions. Call Allen Harmon Insurance at (269) 441-5156 for more information on Battle Creek auto insurance.