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How to Protect Your Car in Winter Driving

Protect Your Car in Winter

Winter driving can be very hard on our cars, pickup trucks and SUV’s.  These 3 tips can help you protect your automobiles from some of the hazards of winter driving and more importantly can save you money and inconvenience.

Driving to work this morning in Boise presented a big strain on our vehicles, due to extremely slick roads.  We received between 5 and 6 inches of snow over night.  The roads were already very slick from yesterday’s snow.

The ice under the fresh snow was hidden from view and very slick.  Many drivers don’t have winter tires installed so the slick surfaces are even more hazardous.  We all know the hazards of these roads but how they affect our cars is the subject of this information.  The bottom line is remembering these tips may help you save money on car repair bills.

Two systems on our cars, drive axles and transmissions, can be damaged by these winter conditions.  The price tag of repairing this damage can run from $250.00 to $2500.00.

The brake system is so critical to winter driving that I would be negligent to not mention it here.  Maintaining the brakes on your car may keep you from getting into a situation that could otherwise be avoided.

So, here are the 3 tips for winter driving:

Drive Axles and Transmissions

Drive axles and transmissions can be easily damaged by accelerating on ice, causing the drive wheels to spin and slip (sometimes up to 50 mph or more).  If the tires suddenly get traction on dry pavement, the instant grip of the tires on the road can break axles or internal transmission parts.  The tip is to be aware of this and proceed with caution.

Winter Wiper Blades
Winter Wiper Blades

Windshield Wipers

Another common situation is driving home at night in rain or snow.  You turn the car or truck off and go into the house.  The next morning when you start the car the wipers will continue to move as they were the night before.  If they are covered with snow or stuck from ice you could bend the wiper blade, arm, or cause the fastening portion of the wipers to come loose.  The end result may require replacing some parts, or may require a trip to the auto repair shop for repairs or tightening the arm.  The tip is to free the wipers before starting the car.

Brakes Operating Smoothly

Having brakes that operate smoothly will allow for slowing gradually without grabbing.  If the brakes grab on a slick icy surface you can lose traction and thereby lose control of your vehicle.  Grabbing can be caused by a number of problems in your brake system so have them inspected by Dale’s Auto Care if you experience this condition.

So keep your brakes working smoothly!  Clean and free up your wiper blades before starting your car on icy mornings!  And be aware of the potential expense of breaking a drive axle or transmission component due to slipping on ice.

Call Dale’s Auto Care today at (208) 345-5620 or email us with questions or to make an appointment.

Copyright 2010 Dave Eastman, ADSi.  All rights reserved.

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