It’s still winter here in Great Falls, Montana, and if you have to be out on the road in the winter weather, we here at Great Falls Auto Repair hope you’ll be as safe as possible. You can take extra precautions while you’re driving in winter weather to keep you and your passengers safe. Here are some tips for that, and we can help, too, with vehicle maintenance designed to help your car handle the winter roads.
1. Keep Half a Tank of Fuel in Your Car
There are multiple reasons to keep your fuel tank over half a tank, including the fact that you’ll need to keep your car running if you get stranded. Beyond that hopefully infrequent situation, the other reason that you want to keep gas in your tank is to keep water out. Water building up in the fuel lines or tank can freeze and cause big problems in the fuel system.
2. Check Your Tires and Chain Up if Necessary
Make sure that your tires have excellent tread and that they’re properly inflated all winter long. In colder weather, you might have to check the air pressure more often because tires quickly lose air pressure. Even if you’ve got winter tires, you might need to chain up if it’s slippery out there and the authorities require chains on the road on which you are driving.
3. Only Warm up Your Car in a Ventilated Area
Lots of people make the mistake of accidentally warming up their car with the garage door closed. This is extremely dangerous and is something you want to avoid. If you must warm up your car, make sure that the area is ventilated and that the garage door is open to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
4. Never Use Cruise Control on Snow or Ice
Cruise control is great on dry, clear roads, but if it’s icy or snowy out, do not use your cruise control. This can easily cause your car to spin out of control, and you might accidentally make the problem worse by overcorrecting. It’s much better to avoid using the cruise control function until roads are dry and clear.
5. Leave Plenty of Following Distance
When you leave plenty of following distance between your car and the car in front of you, you’ve got time to respond to whatever they do. Accelerate and slow down calmly and slowly. When you try to do either too quickly, you risk losing control of the car and hitting the person in front of you.
Want to make sure your car is still okay for cold weather driving? Great Falls Auto Repair in Great Falls, MT, can take a look for you. We’ll inspect your car from front to back and make sure that all systems are a go so you can drive safely in winter weather.