Winter, the season of snow, high winds, and fog is already here. If you live in a part of the country that receives snowfall, it’s time to prepare yourself and your darling car to survive this season. This weather requires extra care and attention to ensure that we are on track to be safe when we go out on the roads. Your car needs preventative maintenance year-round but during winters, it becomes even more important.
This season brings numerous challenges for drivers and many motorists are already fretting about the coming days. For a novice driver, even the thought of getting into the driver’s seat when the weather is less than perfect is scary. However, if you’re a new driver, ultimately you need to learn how to drive like a pro in all seasons. But this doesn’t mean to take this risk in the first few weeks of driving.
Driving in winters is certainly one of the most difficult tasks, especially on black ice. To help you drive safely in this weather, we have come up with some tips on how to drive and warm up your car when the temperature falls below zero. If you’re fretting about frosty mornings and windy nights, read the following tips to drive safely and confidently during the winter season.
- Driving on black ice
Driving on black ice can be hazardous. This transparent ice remains invisible and your vehicle may hit a patch of black ice and spins off the road. So, when driving on snowy and frozen roads, go slow and steady. A sudden surge of power can cause your wheels to spin, and hard braking can cause sliding. It’s highly recommended to slow down steadily by taking extra time to stop when approaching a traffic light or stop sign.
- Handle the Skid Gently
If the car starts to slide away from your intended direction, don’t panic. You can manage skid to bring your car back in control. If your front-wheel skids, try easing off the gas and as the front tires regain traction, return to your original direction. In case, your car’s rear tires lose grip, don’t apply brakes and ease off the accelerator. Turn the steering wheel in the same direction as that of rear sliding and once the rear wheels regain traction, steer back in the original direction.
- Use Anti-Lock Brakes
To minimize the risk of accidents, most modern cars come equipped with anti-lock brake systems (ABS). If your car begins to skid and you need to stop as quickly as possible in snow or on the ice, use your car’s anti-lock-brake system (ABS). The anti-lock brakes use an onboard computer to optimize the car’s braking in extreme conditions.
- Check Your Tires
Regularly checking the pressure of your car tire is important, irrespective of the season. With a drop in outside temperature, tire pressure also goes down. Make sure each tire is filled to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure. It’s recommended to keep a good quality tire pressure gauge handy to check tire pressure. Consider the numbers for air pressure that are located inside the driver’s door frame.
Car tires need proper maintenance because they come directly in contact with the road surface and ice, snow or rain. Make sure to check your tread and replace tires that have uneven wear or insufficient tread. As per the law, a tire is officially worn out with 2/32” of tread depth. The right time to install snow tire is during the fall season so that they’re prepared before it snows.
- Clean Car’s Windows
Driving in winters can be very dangerous so make sure you have the proper training to drive. Always keep your car’s windshield and windows clean. This is important to ensure proper visibility, reduce distractions, and minimize sun glare. You may use a mixture of vinegar and water to clean the window with the help of a newspaper. To identify streaks on the glass, it’s best to wipe the exterior vertically and the internal horizontally.