How to Drive Safely this Winter | Scott's Fort Collins Auto

How to Drive Safely this Winter

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How to Drive Safely this WinterColorado residents are no strangers to snow, but every time a storm hits, accidents and other cold weather incidents multiply. Follow these important tips to ensure you reach your destination safely despite cold, snowy conditions.

Keep the Gas Tank Full

It’s a pain to visit the gas tank any more often than you have to, but by keeping the tank at least half full at all times, you reduce the chance of moisture forming and freezing in the gas lines. Be especially mindful if your tank starts getting low in the days preceding a storm. Fill up now before a blizzard strikes so you don’t end up stranded with an empty tank of gas.

Treat Your Tires

Check the tire pressure every time you fill the gas tank. Pressure can decrease as much as one to two psi for every 10-degree temperature drop, so you may need to top off the air to enjoy the best performance from your tires.

If your car currently has all-season tires, consider bringing it in to Scott’s Fort Collins Auto & Repair for snow tire installation. Snow tires make a huge difference in snowy conditions. You’ll especially notice a performance enhancement if your old tires are wearing out and going bald.

Have Your Battery Tested

Car batteries have a harder time starting in sub-freezing conditions. Bring your car to Scott’s for a free battery test to make sure your car will start on even the coldest mornings. If you need a recharge or a whole new battery, we can hook you up.

Avoid Idling to Warm up the Engine

Modern cars need no more than 30 seconds to warm up before you shift into gear and go. Excessive idling can actually damage the engine, so avoid this practice unless you need to melt ice on the windshield.

Have Your Brakes Checked

You need properly functioning brakes to prevent the wheels from locking up on slick surfaces. When you bring your car in to Scott’s to have a battery tested, tires replaced or oil changed, have your brakes checked as well. This quick inspection can reveal developing problems so you can remedy them in the shop before a disaster occurs on the road.

Ensure Good Vision

A clean windshield is vital at all times, but especially when the weather is bad. Fall or winter is a good time to replace your wipers and top off the windshield washer reservoir with cold-weather fluid that has a lower freezing point.

Keep a Winter Survival Kit in Your Car

You never know when you might get stranded, so play it safe by stocking your car with a few winter weather survival items, including:

  • Heavy coat and other warm clothing
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Car cell phone charger
  • Basic first aid kit and medicines
  • Booster cables and ice scraper
  • Non-perishable food such as granola, nuts, beef jerky and energy bars

Drive Carefully

With your car recently serviced and ready to go, you may feel extra confident on the road. While it’s good to not be scared, you still need to drive cautiously:

  • Decrease your speed and take your time coming to a stop. Don’t feel pressured to speed up if other cars are passing you; just continue at a speed you feel comfortable with.
  • Increase your following distance so you never have to slam on your brakes, since this could cause the wheels to lock up and increases your chance of skidding out.
  • When conditions really start to deteriorate, stay off the road unless it’s an emergency. Rescheduling an appointment or missing a day of work is worth it to avoid getting in an accident.

To get your car ready for winter weather driving, remember to bring your car in to Scott’s Fort Collins Auto & Repair. Stop by anytime! You can also schedule an appointment online or call ahead at (970) 682-4202.

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