It’s that time of year again when temperatures are steadily below freezing and snow is in the forecast. You know winter calls for precautions like bundling up before you go outside, but what does it mean for your car? You rely on your car for many things — getting to work, taking kids to school and in-between — so, it’s important that you take good care of it.
Taking care of your car includes keeping up with winter maintenance, but did you know your driving habits also play role in keeping your car in tip-top shape?
Winter Driving Habits That Hurt Your Car
Riding the brakes
When driving downhill, especially in snow and ice you may have the urge to keep your foot on the brake, but this can cause wear on your brakes.
Driving too fast
Reducing your speed on the road is often needed when winter weather hits. The posted speed limits are meant for optimum weather conditions, and winter weather often causes roads to be less than optimum.
Not clearing all of the snow and ice off of your car
When it’s freezing outside, you don’t want to spend any more time outside then you have to. Sometimes this might mean only clearing enough snow and ice from your windshield so you have a small space to see out of, but this isn’t the safest action. Snow and ice on your windows can cause your line of sight to be obstructed. It’s best to clear all the windows completely. It’s also a good idea to remove all snow from the top of your vehicle. You may be thinking: why do I need to clear the roof? As you drive down the road, the snow could shift and abruptly fall on the windshield — causing a distraction and obstruction.
It’s easy to do. You notice your vehicle sliding and your first instinct is to slam on the brakes and turn the wheel abruptly. These actions can cause your car to spin out of control. Try to stay calm and take gentle movements.
Not changing your windshield wipers
Changing your wipers as soon as you see streaks on the windshield is important for keeping you safe on the road during less than ideal conditions. Because snow and rain can obstruct your line of sight, you’ll want to be sure your windshield wipers are clearing your windshield properly.
Not checking your tires
Ensuring your tires are properly inflated is a safety measure worth taking. Colder temperatures can cause your tires to lose inflation pressure. You notice when the temperature drops 10 degrees, and so do your vehicle’s tires. For every 10-degree drop, the pressure in your tires is reduced by one PSI. Refer to your owner’s manual for your vehicle’s recommended inflation pressure. Underinflated tires can cause your tires to lose traction, which can be dangerous with winter road conditions.
Protection for the Unexpected
When you hit the roads — especially in the winter you want to know your vehicle is protected. Don’t leave anything to chance. Connect with a Farm Bureau agent to ensure you and your vehicle have the proper coverage. And to ensure you’re not left stranded this winter, be sure to ask about Farm Bureau’s Emergency Roadside Assistance coverage.