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maintenance December 14, 2015

Preparing Vehicles for the Winter Road Trip

Here are 4 simple tips to get your vehicle ready for winter driving conditions. We recommend that you take the five minutes to look over your vehicle and see if you could benefit from any of these suggestions. It could be a real time and lifesaver once those snowy and icy conditions set-in!

1) Tire tread and compound – Make sure tires are all-season tires with gripping protection. Many consumers may not realize that the OE (original equipment) on most vehicles is a summer tire that performs very poorly in freezing conditions. Remember last year’s carmageddon (freezing rain started right before the evening rush and people had 8 hour commutes home—if they were lucky enough to stay on the road)? The people with all-season tires likely were not the ones in the ditches.

2) Windshield treatment – Apply a rain repellant, like Aquapel or RainX to windshields. This will make the water bead on the windshield so that ice and snow do not stick to the windshield. The repellant also improves driving conditions in inclement weather. Other benefits include: improved vision in the rain, as it causes rain to bead up and roll right off; makes it easier to clear ice, snow, and even dirt and bugs and reduces glare in the rain, especially at night. The repellant typically lasts for months in normal driving conditions.

3) Switch wipers to beam wiper blades or winter wiper blades – The conventional wiper blade is a multi-tinged metal blade with lots of moving parts, but when they get wet, they freeze in place and will not flex. They freeze either curved OR flat, becoming useless since a windshield is both curved and flat. Beam wipers do not have hinge points and winter blades and their spring mechanism is concealed from snow and ice so they continue to “work” in tough weather. Winter blades are metal hinged blades that are wrapped in rubber, keeping the water off so that they do not freeze.

4) Check the freezing point on anti-freeze – Antifreeze needs to be at -34 degrees. If it is too high the engine can freeze, especially when sitting outside in a snowstorm.

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