Cold wet weather, the effects on your automobile.

Winter Driving

The upcoming weather will be miserable for driving if it’s like past years. These tips will help make the journey more safe and comfortable.

Make sure all windows are clear before driving. Sight is about 95% of your input to drive. Scrape all windows of ice before driving. Wipe the fog off all inside windows too.

Make sure that the “fresh” air mode is selected on vehicles that have the choice, mostly Japanese vehicles. Putting on the Air conditioning will help “dry” the air during moist winter month so the defroster will work faster. Most newer cars put on the A/C automatically when “defrost” is picked.

The only time I ever will recommend warming up your car before driving when you needs to get the ice thawed on the outside and inside to clear the fog off. Note, don’t leave your car unattended, thieves can drive away. It is a waste of fuel though.

If you can, keep your vehicle in a garage, it makes winter driving safer.

Coat all your door weather stripping with a thin coat of Vaseline (petroleum jelly) to prevent ice from sticking your door closed. Do NOT force open a door that is frozen shut, it will rip the weather stripping and it is expensive. If a door does stick, try to get it another door open, start and warm up your car until the door opens.

Put a silicon or graphite based lubrication in your door locks so they will open in cold weather. If your door lock is frozen, use a match or lighter to heat your key and then insert the key into the lock to warm it up. A hair drier will work to heat the key or the lock too but be careful using 120 volt appliances in a wet environment because of the shock factor.

In both of the last situations, warm water should only be used as a last resort. Warm water on cold glass could make the glass break. Also, putting water on will just make more moisture available for the next freeze.

Replace your wipers, not with inserts but the complete blade assembly. The mechanism hold the rubber insert perpendicular to the windshield has about the same life as the rubber part of the insert. Doing the complete assembly with assure better wiping action.

There are some new style one piece wiper blades now that do an incredible job.

Use Rain-X or other windshield polish to help let the rain slide off your windshield. These work great for those rainy dark nights on I-5

Be sure your washers work well and are full on winterized fluid.

Doing a few preventative items will make winter driving a more pleasant and safer experience.


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