In order to help you prepare for the upcoming winter months, your friends here at Sherwood Ford have put together a list of helpful tips for driving during the winter. In addition to the slippery ice and snow that covers the roadways, the bitter cold of the winter months also plays an effect to how your vehicle drives. In order to better combat the cold, we recommend switching to winter tires. Because they have been made with a different rubber compound than regular and all-season tires, winter tires are able to maintain their elasticity longer and provide better traction on less-than-ideal driving conditions.
1. Don't Spin Your Tires
If you end up getting stuck in the snow, don't sit there with your foot on the gas trying to get some movement while all your tires are doing is spinning. Instead, use a shovel or ice scraper, which you should always keep in your vehicle during the winter by the way, and use it to remove the snow and ice from underneath the tires.
2. How to Handle Skidding
When you start to feel the back end of your vehicle skidding, take your foot off the accelerator, but do not slam on the brakes. This is the normal reaction to a fish-tailing vehicle, but often causes more harm than good. Instead, turn your vehicle in the direction that you are skidding and gently apply brake pressure. Don't pump the brakes either, as that can cause you to lose control.
3. Gas up the Tank
When gas tanks are left below halfway full during the winter months, the risk of ice crystals forming in the gas lines becomes a more serious threat. Having ice in the lines can cause your vehicle to start harder than normal, and if you're already driving, can make your vehicle stutter or even stall. Gas also adds weight to your vehicle, giving it more traction.
4. Get Jumper Cables
If you don't already keep a set of jumper cables in your vehicles, we highly recommend getting a set and keeping them with you at all times. As you know, it gets cold here in the winter, and if you or another motorist is in the ditch and is unable to get their engine turned over, jumper cables may save the day.