Happy February from John's Automotive Care!
For this month's blog, we are highlighting our tips & guidelines for driving in the snow safely! If a winter adventure is calling your name, this blog is for you. Even if you love to play in the snow, your vehicle doesn't. According to the U.S Department of Transportation, "Over 1,300 people are killed, and more than 116,800 people are injured in vehicle crashes on snowy, slushy or icy pavement annually." Here are John's Automotive Care's tips for driving in the snow to help make your winter adventure easier & safer.
The prep begins before the driving; always remember to check roadway conditions, including chain controls, before you leave the comfort of your home with Caltrans QuickMap. Another at-home step is ensuring you have the right supplies for your adventure. Extra water & snacks are a must, as well as a vehicle emergency kit. With 17% of all car crashes occurring during wintertime, it's essential to have an emergency kit for these unexpected situations.
When driving in the snow, visibility is vital for you to see clearly when you're going & for other drivers to see you. If your headlights or taillights are cracked or foggy, this indicates that they need work. It would be best if you took the time to have them inspected before attempting a snowy drive. Ignoring a vehicle issue could lead to dangerous accidents or costly repairs down the line. Our knowledgeable ASE-Certified auto mechanics team at John's Automotive Care has your back because our dedication to customers is unmatched.
Check Those Fluids
Having your vehicle topped off with all the different types of fluids before a winter travel day is one of the most straightforward steps for your safety. When your vehicle arrives at our auto repair shop for fluid services, we will perform a complete, thorough multi-point inspection. We always get the whole picture of your automobile, so we can pinpoint areas that could be a cause of concern for you. After our auto mechanics perform their inspection, we will provide a detailed report, complete with pictures & honesty. You know you need to get an oil change routinely, but have you heard about refilling your vehicle's power-steering fluid? Or differential fluid? That's what we are here for!
Prepare with the Right Tires
Prevention is always the best medicine, which holds for driving in the snow, as well. When going in the snow, winter or snow tires are your best option. From heavy snowfall to black ice, winter roads are incredibly unpredictable. Winter tires can best meet the combination of snow, wind & cold temperatures due to their design. They are specifically designed with an aggressive tread to eliminate snow build-up for your safety and anti-sliding. The cons to having winter tires include that they are made from softer rubber than all-season, making them wear down faster. After the harsh winter season, a switch must be made, which is an extra step. Most people in California probably have all-season tires. They are known for their durability & consistency. But they are not the safest for heavy winter travel & more often than not need chains.
Understand Warning Labels
When driving in snowy conditions, if you see a blinking amber light, it's the Electronic stability control or ESC alerting you that your car is beginning to detour from your intended path. Or, in other words, traction has been lost. When this happens, you need to release the gas & ease back on the accelerator, allowing the car to regain grip. To prevent this, do not accelerate quickly when turning tight corners on snowy or slushy streets.
Leave Extra Distance
Driving at a safe distance is one of the best ways to avoid an accident while driving in the snow. If anything goes wrong with the vehicle in front of you, you will need more time to stop. We've all seen the images of cars pilled up in the snow, don't let this happen to you. Maintain your distance.
Driving in Snow at Night
If you can avoid driving in the snow at night, by all means, do it. Snow is reflective, especially when you shine bright headlights on it. This makes for a significant decrease in your ability to see the road. Additionally, it's harder to see how well the road has been salted or patches of black ice. If you need to get home from work or an event, take extra time and caution and avoid backroads. Plows and salt trucks tend to prioritize main roads. Plus, should anything happen, you're more likely to catch a passerby's attention.
Drive Super Smoothly
Think "Smooth Criminal"- bad joke we know. Anyways, safe driving in snow means being smooth with your vehicle's systems: the steering wheel, accelerator, and brakes systems. Every turn of the wheel, push of the brakes, and throttle movement must be intentional, gentle, and gradual.
If you are uncertain about your vehicle's ability to travel in the snow safely, please schedule an appointment with John's Automotive Care in La Mesa. We are also a Certified Green Business because our team is dedicated to environmentally-friendly procedures and materials. Call John's Automotive Care, or schedule an appointment online with us today to experience the JAC (John's Automotive Care) difference. We are located at 7447 University Ave, La Mesa, CA 91942.