Archive for the ‘winter’ Tag

Winter Driving Tips

AAA recommends the following winter driving tips:

  • Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
  • Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
  • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
  • Always look and steer where you want to go.
  • Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.

Tips for long-distance winter trips:

  • Watch weather reports prior to a long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you must leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
  • Always make sure your vehicle is in peak operating condition by having it inspected by a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility.
  • Keep at least half a tank of gasoline in your vehicle at all times.
  • Pack a cellular telephone with your local AAA’s telephone number, plus blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle.
  • If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle. It provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Don’t try to walk in a severe storm. It’s easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
  • Don’t over exert yourself if you try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow.
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
  • Make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.
  • Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers or paper maps.
  • If possible run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill and to conserve gasoline.

Tips for driving in the snow:

  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
  • Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
  • The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
  • Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
  • Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
  • Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed down hill as slowly as possible.
  • Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
  • Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.

Visit AAA’s YouTube page for more videos on winter driving tips.

Read more at: https://exchange.aaa.com/safety/driving-advice/winter-driving-tips/?sf96221020=1#.XA_iNuJG2Ul

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Six Quick Tips for Sub-Zero Winter Driving

When it comes to winter car care, many motorists think of antifreeze and batteries, but vehicles need extra attention when temperatures drop below zero. The non-profit Car Care Council offers six quick tips to help your vehicle perform at its best during cold weather months.

1) Keep the gas tank at least half full; this decreases the chance of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing.

2) Check the tire pressure, including the spare, as tires can lose pressure when temperatures drop. Consider special tires if snow and ice are a problem in your area.

3) Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.

4) Allow your car a little more time to warm up when temperatures are below freezing so that the oil in the engine and transmission circulate and get warm.

5) Change to low-viscosity oil in winter as it will flow more easily between moving parts when it is cold. Drivers in sub-zero temperatures should drop their oil weight from 10-W30 to 5-W30 as thickened oil can make it hard to start the car.

6) Consider using cold weather washer fluid and special winter windshield blades if you live in a place with especially harsh winter conditions.

“Sub-zero temperatures can have a real impact on your vehicle,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance and rough idling, and very cold temperatures reduce battery power. If you haven’t had your vehicle checked recently, a thorough vehicle inspection is a good idea so you can avoid the aggravation and unexpected cost of a breakdown in freezing weather.”

As a precaution, motorists should be sure their vehicle is stocked with an emergency kit containing an ice scraper and snowbrush, jumper cables, flashlight, blanket, extra clothes, bottled water, dry food snacks and needed medication.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a free copy of the council’s popular Car Care Guide or for more information, visit http://www.carcare.org.

As read on: http://www.carcare.org/2015/01/six-quick-tips-sub-zero-winter-driving/

Top 5 Car De-Icing Myths

Impatient drivers trying to remove ice from windshields often discover creative ways to break the glass. Top five vehicle de-icing myths:

1. Pouring hot water on the vehicle’s windshield and windows will melt the ice. It might melt the ice, but it can also shatter the windshield due to the extreme temperature change.

2. Tap the ice on the car windshield with a hammer to break the ice into pieces to pick off the glass. If that doesn’t work, hammer on a screwdriver or ice pick. This usually results in an impact hole or a large crack.

3. Scrape the ice off the truck windshield with a metal ice scraper, key, spatula, utility knife or crowbar. The metal either scratches or cuts grooves in the glass.

4. Use a propane torch to melt the ice. Not only is this dangerous to the torchbearer, but this also can unintentionally melt the glass from the high temperature of the torch.

5. Pour or spray a mixture of vinegar and water on the windshield so that it freezes to the glass before the rain does, thereby preventing ice. Unfortunately, vinegar eats pits into the windshield glass.

These ideas might work however they will ultimately cost you more money in repair costs. Below is a list of the proper ways to de-ice your car and windows. In the winter months it is just safer, and more cost effective to allow extra time to properly warm your vehicle.

1. Check to make sure no ice or snow is obstructing the vehicle’s tailpipe. If it is covered, the ice or snow must be removed to prevent the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning inside the vehicle.

2. If the car door is frozen shut with ice, pour cold water to gradually melt the ice and use a plastic ice scraper to carefully chip a crack in the ice around the door seal and the lock. Do not try to “unseal” the door by using a hair dryer, cigarette lighter, ice pick, screwdriver, propane torch or portable heater.

3. Start the vehicle and use the defroster setting to warm the glass. Wait at least five minutes for the car to start to warm up.

4. When the ice in contact with the windshield is melting, use a plastic ice scraper and a soft plastic bristle brush or broom to clear the ice. A squeegee also helps.

There are de-icing products on the market that may shorten the time it takes to melt the ice, but the results vary based on weather situations. Again, the best plan is to make extra time to properly warm and de-ice your car or if you lucky to have an indoor parking spot, use that during the winter months!

Tips found on: http://www.pitchengine.com/glassdoctor/glass-doctor-busts-top-5-car-deicing-myths-saves-windshields

Motorcycle Safety: Spring Brings New Hazards

As the snow melts away, the desire to experience the wind in your face gets stronger. Motorcyclists across the country are charging battery’s, checking tire pressure, and putting a good coat of wax on their trusty steed. Making ready for that first warm afternoon, when they can get out on the highway. Harley’s or Honda’s, all motorcycle riders look forward to the first spring ride in the country.

Before you blast out of your driveway, a few safety reminders are worth going over. In your hurry to be the first on the road, you don’t want to be the first to the hospital because you got in too much of a hurry.

We’ll assume you prepared your motorcycle properly when you put it in storage for the winter. To make sure your cycle is ready to go, check all fluid levels, check tire pressures, and add some fresh gas. Charge up the battery, and hit the start button. With a well maintained motorcycle, this is about all that’s necessary if you did your proper maintenance before winter storage.

The rest of your preparation has a lot to do with attitude. Being safe on the road depends primarily on how alert you are while riding, and how well you are paying attention to what’s going on around you.

After a long winter, with road crews working long hours to keep the roads clear of ice and snow, there is a very dangerous residual leftover from the plowing process. That is the SAND the highway department used on roads. Loose sand is everywhere in the early Spring. Corners, intersections, main roads and side streets alike. This accumulation of sand presents a severe danger to all two wheeled vehicles.

Remember when you went into that long curve last Fall. The one where you leaned way over as you went through it. Leaning allowed you to navigate that long corner at a faster speed, plus it felt cool. If you make the mistake of leaning over and powering through that corner in the Spring, when some left over sand is still on the road, your wheels will slide out from under you. Road rash is very painful, sliding on asphalt will rapidly grind skin and meat off your body. Not a good experience.

Watch out for loose sand at intersections as well. Stopping too fast on a thin layer of sand will send you sliding into the intersection. Possibly into the path of cross traffic. If your tailgating a city bus, you may find yourself doing a face plant right into the back end of that bus.

The dreaded four wheeler, people driving cars have forgotten all about motorcycles over the past few months. Even in good weather in the middle of summer a motorcycle is almost invisible to cars. Headlights on can help, but it’s vital that you ride with the attitude that everyone out there is trying to kill you. For all practical purposes they are, be it unintentional, but none the less tangling with a car is the last thing a motorcycle rider wants to do.

The inexperienced rider, new motorcycle owners will be out there in large quantities. With the price of gas reaching the stars, more and more people will be opting for the much cheaper to operate motorcycle for daily transportation. Not only should these new riders be extremely cautious as they have a lot to learn about safety, but the experienced rider can find themselves in trouble because of mistakes made by someone with little or no experience, that happens to be in their riding space.

When you head out on the road this spring, be aware. Know what’s going on around you and give yourself enough space to safely navigate around dangers. Motorcycle riding is one of the best ways to experience what our country has to offer. Be sure you enjoy it safely.

As read on: http://voices.yahoo.com/motorcycle-safety-spring-brings-hazards-1321887.html