Winter Driving Tips

Winter driving

Photo by Aubrey “starshaped” (Flickr Creative Commons)

Driving in the winter takes a toll on your vehicle, whether from dings or dents from ice and snow mishaps or salt residue. You can avoid many problems with some proactive measures when driving in the winter. For those you can’t avoid no matter how hard you try, the service department at Classic Chevrolet is here to help.

Preventing Mishaps

Not all accidents can be prevented, but your actions can go a long way in protecting your vehicle. If the roads have just been salted, wash your vehicle, especially the undercarriage. Salt eats paint and rusts metal, including the frame, fuel lines and metal parts on brake lines.

If you normally park near or under a tree and are expecting an ice storm, park elsewhere. Ice buildup on branches could cause the branch to break off the tree and crunch your vehicle. Even if it’s a small one that makes a dent, you still need to bring the vehicle in for service – even if the branch scratched the paint and left no dent, the exposed metal will start rusting.

Make sure you get your vehicle serviced before winter weather sets in and throughout the winter season.

Fall and Early Winter Checks

Checking your vehicle is not only an important part of maintaining your vehicle, but it is a safety check, too. When you bring your vehicle into Classic Chevrolet for service, the service techs check your brakes, tires, belts, hoses and more. If anything is worn or looks like it may not last, the techs will recommend that you replace the part.

Bald tires or the wrong tires can cause accidents, especially in the winter when it snows or sleets. If the braking system is not working properly – this includes the ABS brake computer – you could crash. Low brake pads, rotors that are overly grooved, dry-rotted brake lines and a leaking master cylinder will all cause stopping problems.

A belt or hose that fails while you are driving can cause you to be stranded with no heat in the vehicle. This includes heater hoses – not just hoses to and from the radiator. If the serpentine belt or a V-belt fails, you could lose the function of the water pump, alternator, air conditioning compressor and power steering pump – or all components if your vehicle has a serpentine belt instead of separate belts.

Stop by Classic Chevrolet today for a service check if you have not checked your vehicle this past Fall or early Winter. Make sure you have the proper tires for the season – if not, request all-season or snow and mud tires. Keeping your vehicle properly maintained and checking for failing components can save you from getting stranded or from crashing.

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