Winterize your ride for comfort, safety

Cold, wet weather can be miserable for driving.

These tips will help make your cold-weather journeys safermore comfortable: • Scrape all windows of ice before driving and wipe the fog off all inside windows too.• Make sure the “fresh” air mode is selected on vehicles that give you the choice. Putting on the air conditioning will help “dry” the air during moist winter months so the defroster will work faster. Most newer cars put on the A/C automatically when “defrost” is selected.• The only time I recommend warming up your car before driving is when you need to get the ice thawed on the outside and the fog cleared away inside. Of course, don’t leave your running car unattended as a temptation to thieves.• If you can, keep your vehicle in a garage; it eliminates ice and fog problems, making winter driving safer.• Coat weather stripping around vehicle doors with a thin coat of petroleum jelly to prevent them from freezing shut. Prying open a door that is frozen shut can rip the weather stripping, which is expensive to replace. If the driver’s door does stick, try to open another door, then start and warm up the car to free the stuck door.• Put silicon based lubrication in your door locks so they will open in cold weather. If a 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 electric appliances in a wet environment because of the risk of shock.• For frozen locks or doors, warm water should be used only as a last resort. For one, warm water on cold glass could make the glass break.• Replace your complete wiper blade assembly rather than just the rubber insert. The mechanism that holds the rubber “blade” perpendicular to the windshield has about the same life as the rubber piece. Replacing the complete assembly will assure better wiping action.• Use Rain-X or another wind-shield polish to help rain slide off your windshield. These work great, especially for dark rainy nights driving on the freeway.• Be sure your windshield washers work well and are full of winterized cleaner fluid.


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