Winter driving tips
- Jeff Voth, Yahoo! Canada Autos
The best defense for winter driving is a good offense. Taking precautions before the worst of it starts in late December and early January can make all the difference between a good winter of driving and the worst. Here are several tips that will hopefully make this winter a little less stressful.
Stop doors from freezing
To keep car doors from freezing in the cold weather, spray or smear silicone on all the gaskets between the door and the car's body. It's a good idea to also treat the gaskets on the trunk or hatch.
Most new vehicles today feature keyless entry systems. But many of us still drive cars that use a conventional key. Washing your car on a regular basis is a good way to keep salt and grime off your vehicle during the winter. To prevent locks from freezing, spray graphite in the key slot and work the key into the hole several times to push the graphite deep into the locking mechanism.
Apply a repellant to the windshield and all the windows to keep them free of slush, salt and dirt. Repellants work by filling in the microscopic pits and scratches where gunk and slush collect. This will also make it easier to scrape off ice and snow from the windows. At the same time, replace your summer wiper blades with winter blades designed for extreme weather.
Never yank or chop at your windshield wipers in an effort to free them if they become stuck. This action may cause you to rip the wiper blade, leading to streaks or uneven wiping when using the wipers. Instead, start the vehicle, put on the windshield and rear defroster, then clear the side and rear windows first. By the time you get to the front, the wipers should be free enough to move without causing any damage.
Be prepared for an emergency
Keep a well-stocked emergency kit in your vehicle in case you become stranded. Some of the items you may want to include are: battery jumper cables, a first-aid kit, collapsible shovel, a basic tool kit, sleeping bags and blankets, extra winter clothing, flashlight with extra batteries, a crank radio, bag of sand, candles and matches, flares and an extra car battery. Make sure to always keep your cellphone charged, especially during the winter months.
If you become stranded in your vehicle in a winter storm, stay calm and remain inside, call for help with your cell phone, stay warm with blankets, keep your lights on to remain visible and remember to run the engine and heat periodically to save fuel and battery power. It is rarely a good idea to leave your vehicle and look for help in storm. Be prepared and wait for help to arrive.
Read the rest at: http://ca.autos.yahoo.com/p/2050/winter-driving-tips
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