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Winter Driving Tips

from ATC Agency
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by Annie Carlin on Dec 30, 2013

The cold weather tests the limits of our cars. The cold weather is hard on the battery, tire pressure, and even the interior of a car can crack when it is too cold. Hopefully you will find these tips useful, and if you have any suggestions, we'd love to hear them!

  • Don't put off regular service. Sounds simple, but you don't want to be sitting by your stalled vehicle, waiting for a tow truck. 
  • Have your mechanic check the battery, and charging system. A battery that works well in the summer may not be able to get your car going in the cold in the winter.
  • Check the Cooling System, have a mechanic check the coolant. Antifreeze is rated to a certain temperature, and if it freezes in the cooling system, it can break the engine block. 
  • Check the windshield wipers. If they are in need of replacing, most car services shops and auto body retailers will install them for free with the purchase of new wipers.
  • Keep your windshield washer fluid full. A clear day can still be messy on the roads, and it is easy to go through. Make sure when you purchase washer fluid it is rated for below zero weather.
  • Keep your gas tank full. If you happen to find yourself stranded, you will want to run the engine to stay warm. Keeping the gas tank close to full will prevent the build up of condensation. Condensation can freeze up gas lines and the tank.
  • If you have an engine block heater, use it! Most diesel engines require an engine heater, but gasoline engines benefit from them too. When the temperature dips, so do the contents of your engine, and an engine that warms starts easier, and causes less wear and tear on the engine. 
  • Make sure your car is equipped with an ice scraper, a pair of warm boots, gloves and an emergency kit. You can purchase an emergency kit for the winter from AAA.
  • Traveling at safe speeds is crucial; make sure you leave adequate space between the car traveling in front of you. 
  • To increase traction on a rear wheel drive vehicle, carry sand on the rear axle. In the case of an emergency, you can use the sand for traction when stuck. 
  • Snow tires. They are worth the investment, they add traction, aid in steering, and help stopping the vehicle. 
  • Visibility is crucial, make sure you can see and you can be seen. Clean off all windows, and lights. 
  • Jumper cables, a collapsible shovel, a utility knife, and a non-perishable food item such as a candy bar are all essentials in the winter. Don't leave home with out them.

There are multiple hazards on the roads, and it is nearly impossible to prepare for them all, with that said, hopefully these tips will make this winter easier. If you have anything else we can elaborate on, let us know. 

Happy New Year from your friends at A.T.C. Agency Inc!


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