2000-12-07 / Other News

Auto Group Offers Advice For Safer Winter Driving

Auto Group Offers Advice For Safer Winter Driving

Winter, with its cold damp mornings, blizzards, sub-zero temperatures, and snow storms, is just around the corner bringing with it a slew of problems for motorists. However, by making a few simple checks today vehicle owners can safely ride out the winter months.

"Winter is the worst time of year for drivers," said Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association (GNYADA) president, Mark Schienberg. "More accidents and higher repair costs are common during the months of November through March."

To help lessen your chances of a mishap during these months, the GNYADA suggests these safety and cost cutting tips for motorists facing harsh winter driving conditions:

Change to a winter weight oil. Most engines use I 0W3 ) 0 oil for normal conditions. However, during cold months you should change to a lower grade oil such as 5W30 that will flow more smoothly through a cold engine. Be sure to check owners manual for proper viscosity before changing oil.

Check antifreeze/coolant. Over time, antifreeze becomes diluted and doesn’t provide proper protection. Most manufacturers recommend a 50:50 mixture of antifreeze to water, providing protection against freezing in temperatures as low as -35 degrees F.

Check battery. One of the most common cold weather problems is battery failure. As a battery ages, its ability to provide adequate current at low temperature decreases.

Install winter performance tires.

Become a defensive driver. Understand emergency evasive driving techniques such as, proper use of ABS and how-to turn into a spin.

Carry a cellular phone.

Install new windshield wipers and carry extra windshield wiper fluid.

Replace worn belts and hoses.

Always wear seatbelts.

An in-trunk survival kit should include: a reflective triangle to be put at least 100 feet behind the stranded car, a heavy-duty compact shovel that can dig through an ice-encrusted snowbank, a windshield scraper, a tow strap, a flashlight with spare batteries, heavy boots, winter gloves, snowpants, a jacket, and a heavy wool blanket. Store these items in a waterproof container like a plastic bag or utility box.

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