How to Drive Through Winter Weather

How to Drive Through Winter Weather_700_325

Snow, sleet, ice and slush make the roads a mess during the winter months. When a winter drive is necessary, here are some tips to stay safe.

Prepare Your Car
There are several ways to prepare a vehicle for winter driving. Installing snow tires provides a car with extra traction on messy roads. Snow tires have deep treads that can grab snow and slush and provide a vehicle with greater stability. Putting chains on standard tires can work as well.

In addition to specialized tires, windshield washer fluid designed for winter precipitation can help improve visibility while driving. Winter washer fluid can break through the slush and ice that builds up on a windshield, allowing drivers to see the road ahead.

Slow Down
Knowing how to drive in inclement conditions is another key to staying safe on winter roads. Icy conditions mean that a car likely needs more time to come to a stop. Slamming on the brakes on an ice-covered road will make a car skid. In bumper-to-bumper traffic, leaving extra space between vehicles provides the car with the additional room it needs to come to a complete stop. Driving more slowly allows drivers the chance to brake gently, which decreases the risk of skidding out on slick roads.

Know How to Adjust
If a skid occurs, it is important to know how to handle it. In a rear skid, which is often called “fish tailing,” a driver should take his foot off the accelerator and steer in the direction of the rear skid. If the car starts to skid the other direction, turn the wheel gently to match the move. If the vehicle has anti-lock brakes (ABS), apply steady pressure to slow the vehicles. With standard breaks, pump the breaks to slow the car.

In a front-end skid, a driver should remove her foot from the accelerator and switch the car into neutral. Let the car skid; the car will achieve traction, at which time a driver can steer. Put the car in drive and proceed slowly.

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Keeping Your Tires Up To Speed


It goes without saying that it is important to properly maintain a vehicle. Not only does it increase the overall life of the vehicle, it fills the owner with confidence knowing that the vehicle is well-kept. With that said, one of the most crucial parts of a vehicle is its tires. The four tips below will help keep your tires in good shape and ensure that they last until its advertised lifespan.

1. Tire Pressure

One of the most overlooked vehicle care tests is checking the tire pressure. When tires aren’t properly or evenly inflated it can affect multiple aspects of the driving experience. Dipping gas mileage, poor handling and uneven tire wear can occur if you don’t check your tire pressure often – at least every two weeks. Buy a tire pressure gauge and consult your vehicle’s manual for you tires’ proper inflation rate, and make sure your tires stay there.

2. Balance and Rotation

It is vital to balance and rotate the tires, yet many drivers go without doing this either. Tires suffer from damage when they gain exposure to several road conditions, and one side of the tire may change. Rotating the tires on a frequent basis – every 12,000 miles – will allow the tires to wear equally, increasing the longevity of the tires. Maintaining tire balance will keep your vehicle running smoothly at highway speeds.

3. Visual Inspection

Many drivers do not take the time to inspect their vehicles. We sometimes get so busy that months go by before we notice a scratch on the rear passenger-side door. A quick visual inspection every couple of weeks can keep you up-to-date on the condition of your vehicle’s tires. The last thing anyone wants to do is drive on a bald tire. Not only is it unsightly, it’s also unsafe.

 4. Talk to a Professional

As with any issue you experience with your vehicle, if there is something you are unsure of or need help with, you can always go to a professional. When it comes to your tires, no issue is too small to seek help. Tires play a crucial role in the overall performance of a vehicle. Something that goes overlooked not only could decrease the longevity of your tires, but it could also be a safety hazard.

The four tips above will help drivers stay smart and stay safe in the heavy driving season of summer.

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Tis’ The Season To Drive Safe

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Winter is officially in full swing across most of the country. Tis’ the season to be merry…and cautious on the roads. This season most of us encounter certain challenges and dangers, like slippery iced roads, minimal visibility and freezing temperatures.

Be prepared, keep the proper knowledge in mind and enjoy the holiday season.

Remove all ice and snow from your vehicle. This can easily obscure your visibility. To be safe, brush off the front and rear windows, side mirrors and windows and taillights too.
Ask yourself if you have the appropriate winter tires. Worn tires can be extremely dangerous in snow, slush and ice. Ensure that your tires appropriate for the conditions at any Penske Automotive service department. For snowy conditions, studded snow tires or tire chains could be a great solution to consider.
Relax, take it easy and drive cautiously. Avoid sudden starts or stops – starting in second gear can be helpful to prevent spinning tires. Drive slowly and designate the proper amount of space than you normally for breaking…there is nothing wrong with driving slow in extreme weather conditions, speed limits are set for standard and clear weather conditions.
If you sense your car is going to slide, slide properly…it happens. If the front end starts to ‘plow’ off course, gently let off the accelerator and steer your vehicle into an open direction. If the rear end slides out, or ‘fishtails’, gently let off the accelerator and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide – and be ready to turn the steering wheel back in the other direction once you’ve gained control of your car.
These tips will help you stay safe during the winter. If you are not certain that your car is prepared for the winter, direct your questions to any Penske Automotive service department so that we can our clients are well equipped with the appropriate tires and winter.
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