Every year that first winter storm hits and takes half the country by surprise – this year get ready ahead of time with LifeHomeLiving’s winter driving tips & prep. The biggest things when it comes to winter driving are preparation, practice and skill. Unfortunately only one of those can be solved with prior planning, so we’ll tackle that today. Much of this is common sense and comes down to not being “that guy” with bald tires or paying $10 for windshield washer fluid while you wait for yours to thaw.
1.) Tires, tires, tires. This is literally where the rubber meets the road and they are the most important part of successful winter driving. No amount of all-wheel-drive or electronic trickery will solve for bad/bald/incorrect tires. A Mustang with good snow tires will outperform the beastliest of 4WD SUVs with bald or summer tires on it.
2.) Wipers and Fluid – Melting snow kicks up an insane amount of mud, not being able to clear that effectively from your windscreen means you can’t see. No fluid (or frozen fluid because its full of water) will make it impossible to clean build up off you windscreen. Bad wipers hamper that, impede your ability to remove rain or snow as well – meaning you can’t see.
3.) Accessories – Not the power or jewelry kinds but things (aka gear) you need. Keep: gloves, a long ice scraper, sunglasses, and a cheap wool hat in your car. These things will make removing snow from your car, driving before the heater is warmed up, or dealing with winter glare much easier.
4.) Car Battery – make sure yours is in good shape. “Let’s see if we can make it through the winter driving season” is a recipe for it dying at the exact wrong time. Cold is the enemy of strong starting.
5.) Cooling system – Huh? Most cooling systems fail during the summer causing cars to overheat, but it is called anti-freeze for a reason. Make sure your cooling system is in good working order, filled up and has the proper ration of coolant in it to avoid a catastrophic freeze.
6.) Improve your skills – Go to a winter driving class, or at least when the weather is bad practice sliding and stopping your car in a safe place like a wide open parking lot. Practice makes perfect and having an idea of what your car might do is a low traction situation will help you immensely.
That sums up most of the easy stuff when it comes to winter driving tips – but if you have any tips or tracks that we omitted fell free to send them to us or leave them in the comments.