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Cold Winter Driving: What you Need to Know

As extremely cold temperatures blanket Northeast Ohio, Cleveland and Akron area drivers need to know how this may affect their vehicle. Cold temperatures like these affect vehicle maintenance, fuel economy and driving styles. Here is what you need to know about each category.

Winter Vehicle Maintenance Tips

  • Check your battery annually and replace it when it turns 5 years old or showing any signs of weakness.
  • Keep tires in good condition & properly inflated. Replace tires with tread depths less than 3/32nd of an inch.
  • Utilizing snow tires will increase traction & stopping distances.
  • Replace your wiper blades annually. Use winter wiper blades if your vehicle sits outside most of the time.
  • Refill your washer fluid reservoir frequently with winter mix.
  • Perform routine maintenance as outlined by the vehicle manufacturer.
  • Have a safety inspection completed by a competent shop & technician. Perform recommended services and repairs to keep vehicle in proper operating condition.

Winter Driving Tips

  • Brush off & clean snow and ice from all of your windows.
  • Brush off your headlights and brake lights. This helps you to see & be seen!
  • Allow enough time to arrive at your destination & slow down in wet conditions.
  • Keep your gas tank at 1/3 full or more at all times.
  • Know how to recover from a skid. Read this for more info.
  • If possible, stay off the roads during periods of extreme snow & ice.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle complete with boots, gloves, coat, hat, snacks, bottled water, jumper cables, flares & extra medication.
  • If you belong to an auto club, have the phone number in your cell phone in case you need a tow or battery service.
  • Keep your insurance information on hand in case of an accident.

Winter Fuel Economy Tips

  • Check tire pressure monthly & keep it in the recommended range.
  • Plan your trips ahead of time to reduce small trips. Longer trips are better for your vehicle.
  • Park in a garage when possible. It shortens the time needed to reach full operating temperature.
  • Go easy on the accelerator. Avoid aggressive starting and braking.
  • Minimize warm-up times. A remote start will warm up the vehicle, but will also reduce fuel economy.